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From an original portraat in the poaaession of hia grand-daughtei-, IF? W? f Wll = 


^ APR 23 1932 








Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1877, in the Office of the Librarian of I 

Congress at Washington, D. C. | 



William Syckelmoore, Printei 
No. 1420 Chestnut Street 




B-Y" THE ^TJ1'I3:OI^- 


Rev. Samuel Jones, D. D. 

Barbadoes Storehouse. ., Protestant Episcopal, Church. 

Montgomery Baptist Meeting House. 

Southampton Baptist Meeting House. 

Hopewell Academy. 

Lagrange Place Meeting House. 

Carpenter's Hall. 

Independence Hall. 

Old Meeting House at Roxborough. . 

Lower Dublin Baptist Meeting House. 

First Church Broad and Arch Streets- 














CHAPTER I._1684— 1690— Philadelphia Founded.— Religious Lib- 
erty—Welsh Parentage. — Origin of Baptists. — John Holme Purchases 
Land.— Rev. Thomas Dungan.— Cold Spring Church.— Bucks and 
Philadelphia Counties. — ^William Penn and Thomas Dungan.— An 
English Baptist.— A Celebrated Spring.— Persecution in Wales.— 
Settlement at Pennypack.— An Indian Deed.— Meaning of Pennypack. 
—Rev. Elias Reach.- The First Baptism.— Lower Dublin Church 
Constituted. — Change of Calendar. — Quarterly Meetings. — Conference 
Meetings. — Decease of Rev. Thomas Dungan— Rev. John Watts. . 17 

CHAPTER II.— 1691-1700.— Keithians.— Baptists and Liberty of Con- 
science — Rev. Thomas Killingsworth. — William Davis. — Preaching 
at Cold Spring. — A Catechism and Confession of Faith. — Quaker 
Baptists.— Mennonites— Rev. E. Keach Returns to England.— Rev. 
Morgan Edwards and Baptist History. — First Baptist Church of Phila- 
delphia Organized— Prominence of John Holme.— Rev. Hanserd 
Knollys. — Barbadoes Storehouse. — Baptists and Presbyterians. — Sepa- 
ration. — Meeting in a Brewhouse. — Baptists and Episcopalians. - 
Christ Church 


CHAPTER III.— 1701-1710— The Seventh-Day Baptists— An Emi- 
grant Church. — Laying on of Hands and Singing. — Death of Rev. 
John Watts. — First Baptist Church and the Keithians. — A Constant 
Supply of Ministers. — The Philadelphia Baptist Association.— More 
Ministers. .......••.• '^^ 

CHAPTER IV.— 1711-1720.— D i s s e n s i o n s.— Ruling Elders— The 
Montgomery Church Organized. — William Thomas.— Tunkers in 
Germantown. — - 48 

CHAPTER V. 1721-1730.— Death of Samuel Jones and Abel Morgan. 

An Educated Ministry. — Thomas Hollis.— Harvard College. — Order 

in Church services. — Careful Reception of Ministers from Abroad. — 
The Fourth Commandment. — Marrying an Unbeliever. — Forfeit of 
Office and Membership in the Church.— Letters of Churches to the 
Association. — Closed Doors. — Tunker Church Organized. — George 
Eaglesfield. — Benjamin Griffith Ordained. — Reception of Members 
from Great Britain. — Rev. Jenkin Jones at Pennypack. — William 
Kinnersley. — Joseph Eaton Ordained. — Church Letters not Granted. — 
Laying on of Hands in Ordination. — Fraternal Correspondenee with 
London.— The First Circular Letter 55 


CHAPTER VI. —1731-1 740— The Baptist Meeting-House Built 

Assistance Needed. — Baptists and the Romanists. — Church of Eng- 
land Demands the Baptist Property. — Fail to get it. — William Kinners- 
ley Dies. — Samuel Jones and Samuel Stillman. — Rev. George White- 
field Arrives. — A Spiritual Man — The Rev. Jenkin Jones. — Various 

Questions- — Association Records. — Catechetical Instruction Fifty-six 

Baptized. — Denominational Growth Slow. ..... 63 

CHAPTER Vn.— 1741-1750— Philadelphia Confession of Faith- 
Subjects of Articles. — Ebenezer Kinnersley Ordained Doubts on 

Whitefield's Preaching. — Electricity. — Joseph Eaton's Defection. 

First Baptist Church Reconstituted. — Groundless Question. — Consti- 
tuent jSIembers, — The Southampton Baptist Church George Eaton 

and Peter P. Vanhorn. — Abraham Levering. — First Records of the 
Association. — Benjamin Griffith. — Power and Duty of an Association. 
—Death of Rev. Joseph Wood. — Trouble with the Pennypack Property, 
— Death of Rev. Joseph Eaton. — Rev. Isaac Eaton and Hopewell 
Academy. — Moderator's Name First Given. — Nathaniel Jenkins. . 67 

CHAPTER VIII— 1751-1760— Feeble Churches Supplied with Preach- 
ing — Ministers Ordained at the Association. — Other Associations Organ- 
ized — George Eaton Called to the Ministry. — Ebenezer Kinnersley, a 
Professor in the University of Pennsylvania. — New Britain Church Con- 
stituted. — John Davis Ordained— The Pioneer Baptists of Maryland. 

Ordination Certificate — First Latin Grammar School— Hopewell 
Academy. — Association's Jubilee. — Talents Developed— Ministerial 
Supply — Doctrinal Sermon.— Meagre Records. — First Church Pulpit 
Supplied. — Application to England for a Pastor.— Death of Rev. 
Jenkin Jones — His Legacy. — Dissenting Ministers Permitted to Solem- 
nize Marriages. — Mount Moriah Cemeteiy. — Rev. Morgan Edwards 
Invited from England.— First Fruit of the Hopewell School. — Rev. 
John Gano. — Rev. Samuel Stillman. — Various Occurrences. . . 74 

CHAPTER IX— 1761-1763— A New Era.— Rev. Morgan Edwards 
Arrives. — Dr. G. Weed's Self- Esteem. — Excommuuicated for Drunken- 
ness. — Supervision of the Membership. — Morgan Edwards Prominent. 
Association's Letter to England. — Need of Books. — First Table of 
Statistics. — Brown University Projected. — Morgan Edwards the Pro- 
jector. — Educational Growth.— New Meeting-House in Philadelphia 

St. Michael's Lutheran Church. — Sound of the Organ. — Resignation 
of Rev. P. P. Vanhorn— The City's Seal to Ordination Certificates.— 
George Eaton. — Samuel Jones Baptized. — Licensed to Preach. — Copy 
of the License. — Ordained. — Place of Worship Occupied. — Mr. 
Whitefield's Church — Samuel Jones Pastor at Pennypack. — A Prerog- 
ative of the Ministry. — Wearing a Master's Gown.— Rev. Stephen 
Watts. — Ordination of Deacons 82 


CHAPTER X.— 1764-1770— The Sisters Allowed to Vote.— Ruling 
Elders. — Fraternal Asscciational Correspondence. — Warren Association 
Organized. — Letter from Philadelphia.— Rhode Island College and 
Morgan Edwards. — Death of Rev. Benjamin Griffith. — First Com- 
mencement of Brown University. — Minutes First Printed. — Northern 
Liberties Church. — Persecutions. — Philadelphia Association to the 
Rescue. — Sufferings at Ashfield. — New Meeting-House at Pennypack. 93 

CHAPTER XI.— 1771-1775— A Decade of Trial.— Rev. Morgan 
Edwards Resigns. — Rev. Samuel Stillman Chosen Pastor. — Did not 
Accept. — Northern Liberty Church in the Association. — The Missionary 
Spirit.— Morgan Edwards an Evangelist. — Rev. William Rogers Or- 
dained.— Last Sermon of Rev. Issac Eaton. — Divine Blessing.— John 
Levering. — Laying on of Hands. — Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley Resigns 
his Professorship. — Death and Burial of Mr. Kinnersley. — Memorial 
Window. — Persecutions of Baptists. — Association Meeting twice a Year. 
— Academy at Pennypack. — Burgiss Allison. — Carpenters' Hall. — 
Continental Congress — Rev. Isaac Backus. — Diary of Backus in Phil- 
adelphia. — Committee of Grievances in the Association. — Meeting in 
Carpenters' Hall.— Address by Rev. James Manning.— Massachusetts 
Delegates Unfriendly. — Baptists and Soul Liberty. — Prejudiced Opinion 
of John Adams. — Committee Determined. — Printed Doccments., — 
Fasting and Prayer. — Rev. William Rogers Resigned. . . . 102 

CHAPTER XII.— 1776-1780 The Ever Memorable 1776 — Declara- 
tion of Independence. — Association at Scotch Plains. — Days of Humili- 
ation. — Independence Hall. — Baptists on the Side of the Colonies. — 
Rev. William Rogers a Chaplain. — Ingenuity of Burgiss Allison. — Rev. 
John Pitman. — Patriotism of the Pennypack Church. — No Association 
in 1777. — Philadelphia Church in Distress. — Rev, James Manning. — 
Diary of Manning in Philadelphia. — Price of Board. — Letter to Revs. 
Still and Miller — Rev. John Gano Called. — Windows Filled with 
Boards. — Gano's Reply. — Call Repeated. — Elhanan Winchester Chosen. 
— An Unfortunate Move. — Rev. David Jones. — First Hundred Years. 118 

CHAPTER XIIL— 1781-1782.— Apostacy of Winchester.— Protest.— 
Council Called. — Advice of Association. — Lawsuit for Property. — 
Excommunicated. — Address from the Church. — Winchester's Death. — 
Baptisterion. — Rev. James Manning. — Issues of the War. — Messenger 
Association in Session. — Met at Sunrise. — Success of American Arms. 
— Statistics of Churches. — Out of the Ordeal. — Petititon the General 
Assembly. — Ask to be Incorporated. — Desire President Manning. — 
Rev. Thomas Ustick Settled. — Sketch of Ustick. — Circulation of the 
Bible. — Brown University Commended. — Honeywell School Fund. — 
John Honeywell's Will 130 


CHAPTER XIV.— 1783-1790— Scruples Conceming Laying on of 
Hands. — Keep the Ordinances as Delivered. — Montgom.ry County 
Formed. — President Manning and Philadelphia Baptists. — The First 
Doctor of Divinity. — Lord's Supper, and Scattered Members. — Loyalty 
to the Colonies. — Pennypack Church Incorporated. — The Temperance 
Question. — A Baptist Hymn Book. — Rev. Samuel Jones, a Doctor of 
Divinity. — Singing Avoided. — Authorized Tunes. — Rev. \Vm. Rogers 
Appointed to a Professorship. — Plain Furniture. — Roxborough Church 
Organized. — Abolition of Slavery. — Old Meeting-House at Roxborough. 139 

CHAPTER XV.— 1791-1800— Rev. Curtis Gilbert— Chestnut Hill.— 
Rev. Thomas Ainger. — Death of President Manning. — Sunday-school 
Society. — Regulation of Youth. — Destitute Orphans. — Notification of 
Members Received. — Soppression of Plays. — Recommendation or 
Dismission. — Joseph Keen. — Home Missions. — Death of Morgan 

Edvs^ards. — Rev. Wiliam White Ordained Yellow Fever. — Rev. 

Rev. Thomas Ustick. — A Second Church. — Association Chartered. — 
Churches Dropped. — Chains Across the Street. — Death of George 
Washington. — Rev. Thomas Fleeson at Roxborough. — A Forward 
Movement. — AFeeble Folk. — Missionary Efforts. . . . 147 

CHAPTER XVI._1801-1806.— A New Era of Growth.—Measures 
Toward an African Church. — Letters from Carey. — A Missionary 
Spirit. — Baptisms on a Week-day. — Shade Trees at the Baptisterion. — 
Joseph S. Walter. — Holy Spirit Poured Out. — Second Baptist Church 
Constituted. — Moderator Should be a Member. — A Masonic Lodge 
Room Used for Religious Worship. — The Second Baptist Meeting- 
House Dedicated. — Death of Thomas Ustick. — Blockley Baptist Church 
Constituted. — Build a Meeting-House. — Singing Led by Precentors. — 
Christians in the Choirs. — Rev. William White, Pastor of the Second 
Church. — Licentiates' Names. — Rev. W^illiam Staughion in Phila- 
delphia. — Crowded Congregation. — New Meeting-House at Lower 
Dublin. — First Baptist Meeting-House Enlarged. — Four Sermons on 
Sunday. — Hoartio Gates Jones, D.D. — Churches Lighted by Candles. — 
Heated by Wood Stoves. — Blank Forms of Letters of Dismission. — First 
Collection for Foreign Missions — Number of Members Necessary to 
Form a Church. — Valid Baptism. — Christian Missions. — Rev. John 
Rutter Excluded. — Invalid Marriages. 157 

CHAPTER.X VII.— 1807-1810— City Pastors Residing in the Country. 
Frankford Baptist Church Constituted. — Meeting-House Erected. — 
Centennial Anniversary of Philadelphia Association. — Chronological 
List of Churches — Second Baptist Church Incorporated. — John P. 
Crozer. — Wayside Efforts. — Third Baptist Church Constitufed. — Impo- 
sition of Hands. — Fifteen Hundred Dollars and Parsonage. — Close 
Supervision and Strict Discipline. — Prohibition of Society Funerals. — 
First African Baptist Church Constituted. — House for Baptismal 
Occasions. — Missionary Society Extending its Labors. . . 169 


CHAPTER XVIII.— 1811-1815 — Growth of the City Westward.— 
Sansom Street Baptist Church Organized. — Ur. Staughton Ssttled as 
Pastor. — Collections at the Lord's Supper. — Rev. John E. Peckworth. — 
Rev. David Jones, Jr , at Frankford. — Rev. Henry Holcombe, D.D., 
Pastor First Baptist Chnrch, Philadelphia. — Missionary Spirit. — A 
Princeton Student Baptized. — A Scriptural Right to Baptize. — Rev. 
John King — Baptist Orphan Society, — Emporium of Baptist Influence. 
First American Missionaries — Philadelphia Baptist Society for Foreign 
Missions. — A Consecrated Spot. — Triennial Convention. — Names of 
Delegates. — Death of Dr. Samuel Jones. — Sunday-Schools Organized. 
— History of the First Church Bible School. — Historical Address by 
Judge Hanna 178 

CHAPTER XIX.— CONCLUSION— Prominent Incidents and Persons. 
— Rev. Jacob Griggs. — Rev. William E. Ashton. — Rev. Wm. Wilson. 
— Rev. J. C. Murphy. — Defection of William White. — Rev. James 
McLaughlin. — The Fourth Baptist Church Constituted. — Meeting- 
House Erected. — The Latter-Day Luminary. — First Theological Sem- 
inar.y — Graduating Class. — Columbian University. — A Few Honored 

Names. — ^J. H. Kennard. — Daniel Dodge William J. Brantley. — 

Rufus Babcock. — K. A. Fleischman. — George B. Ide James M. 

Linnard. — Joseph Taylor. — Wilson Jewell. — David Jayne. — Franklin 
Lee. — W.H.Richards. — Thomas Wattson. — J.P.Sherborne. . 189 


This work, on the Early Baptists of Philadelphia, does not claim to 
exhaust all that might be said about them, nor does it profess to be 
infallible on every point. The material for it has been collected and 
prepared amidst the pressing duties of pastoral and other denomi- 
national work, and it is presented to the public in this form, in the 
hope that, at no very distant day, an abler pen may do more ample 
justice to the memory and work of the men who in the past have 
rendered such valuable service to the cause of truth in these parts of 
our great and growing country. 

In publishing a few of the earlier chapters in the National Bap- 
tist the following incident was given: — 

In an old Welsh Bible belonging to the Lower Dublin Baptist 
Church of this city (now in the collection of the American Baptist 
Historical Society), printed in London, in 1678, is the following re- 
cord : — 

Sarah, daughter of Peter Davies, Baptist minister, Dolau, Radnorshire, South 
Wales, came over and settled in Penepec, in the year 1680, and through her 
letters, induced to follow her, George Eaton, John Eaton and Jane Eaton, to- 
gether with Samuel Jones, a preacher in Dolau, and they were amongst those 
who founded the church in Penepec, in 1688. This Bible was brought over by 
them and has been preserved ever since in the Penepec Church, now called 
Lower Dublin. May God continue to bless and prosper this dear old church. 

October 12th, i86g. THOMAS PRICE, Aberdare, Wales. 

Dr. Price made the above entry, while on a visit to this country 
in 1869. Meeting with it at Lower Dubhn, and wishing to determine 
the correctness of it. Dr. Price was written to for his authority. He 
replied promptly, and sent very full notes from a lecture prepared 
with great care for the Welsh in America. He says, ''I was then 


(1869) assisted as to dates by the late Rev. William Roberts, L.L.D., 
the first pastor of Rev. P. L. Davies, of New York. Dr. Roberts had 
spent a life-time in gathering together material for a Baptist History, 
but I regret that he is now dead, and I fear that his great labors, to a 
large extent, will be lost. I am not able now to give you documentary 
proof of any date, but I had implicit confidence in him." 

A thorough examination into the above, warrants the statement, 
that it is entirely without foundation, and therefore it is expunged from 
the body of this work. 

Praying the blessing of heaven upon this humble contribution to 
the historical literature of our honored denomination, it is sent forth 
upon its mission of interest to those who may peruse its pages. 

T k: E 

£arly Baptists of Philadelphia. 

CHAPTER L— 1684-1690. 


MUCH that is exceedingly interesting clusters around 
the early history of the Baptists of Philadelphia, 
coeval as it is with that of the city itself. William Penn 
received the charter of Pennsylvania March 14th, 1681, He 
did not, however, reach the site now occupied by the city 
until the early part of November, 1682. An old record of 
a meeting held at Shackamaxon,.on the 8th of November, 
says : "At this time Governor Penn and a number of Friends 
arrived here, and erected a city called Philadelphia, about 
half a mile from Shackamaxon." 

The frame of Government as established, was in the 
main on the broad platform of Religious Liberty. The 
thirty-fifth law of the statutes as agreed upon May 5th, 
1682, declared "That all persons living in this Province, 
who confess and acknowledge the Almighty and Eternal 
God to be the Creator, upholder and ruler of the world, and 


that hold themselves obliged in conscience to live peaceably 
and justly in civil society, shall in no ways be molested or 
prejudiced for their religious persuasion or practice in mat- 
ters of faith and worship, nor shall they be compelled at 
any time to frequent or maintain any religious worship, place 
or ministry whatever." 

The Welsh Baptist historian (J. Davis) claims that 
"Wales is to be considered as the parent of the Baptist 
denomination in Pennsylvania." 

The question is sometimes asked, where did the Baptists 
start from? Those who know no better say from Roger 
Williams, in Rhode Island. Philadelphia Baptists trace 
their origin to Wales, and the Welsh Baptists have traced 
their history back to A. d. 63. From that date to Christ in 
Palestine, it is not difficult to track out the New Testament 
doctrines and practices which still distinguish us as the fol- 
lowers of Jesus. 

Between Penn's reception of the charter and his arrival 
in Philadelphia, the sale of land had commenced. In his 
letter to Philip Ford, dated May 22d, 1682, the name of 
John Holme is given as one of the first purchasers of land 
in this city. It is not improbable that he is the same man 
of whom Morgan Edwards says, "In the year 1686, one 
John Holmes, who was a Baptist, arrived and settled in the 
neighborhood." He was the ancestor of the Holme family, 
for many years associated with the Holmesburg Baptist 
Church of this city, and of Rev. J. Stanford Holme, D. D., 
of New York. 

Rev. Thomas Dungan was the first Baptist minister who 
located in these parts. He came with a colony from Rhode 
Island, where he had been a member of the First Baptist 
Church of Newport, and settled, in 1684, at Cold Spring, in 
Bucks county, about three miles north of Bristol. Here he 
founded a Baptist church— the first one west of New Eng- 


land, except one in Charleston, S. C, constituted in 1683. 
As the exact line between Bucks and Philadelphia 
counties was not fixed until April ist, 1685, as Dungan 
naturally visited this city before finally locating where he 
did, and as the Cold Spring interest " was, in the end, ab- 
sorbed by the " Lower Dublin Church, of this city, the 
history of this first church in Pennsylvania legitimately be- 
longs to that of Philadelphia. Between Penn and Dungan 
there may have been a friendly, though, necessarily, a short 
intimacy, as the former returned to England August 12th, 
1684. The reasons for this supposed intimacy may be given. 
Admiral Penn, the father of William, Benedict* says, was 
an "English Baptist." William Penn himself, though a 
Quaker, entertained strong Baptist sentiments. In enacting 
laws for the government of Pennsylvania he recognized those 
rights for which Baptists have so earnestly contended, and 
which had already been incorporated by Roger Williams in 
the statutes of Rhode Island. 

Rev. Thomas Dungan was born in Ireland. Owing to the 
bitter hostility to Baptists, under the reign of Charles II., 
he came to America, only to find in New England the same 
spirit of persecution. Coming thence to Philadelphia, his 
settlement at Cold Spring was not accidental. Here is a 
most remarkable spring, throwing out a strong and steady 
stream of clear, cold water, whose temperature is the same 
all the year round. It is thought by some to possess quali- 
ties of great medicinal value. Tradition tells us that the 
Indians were accustomed to assemble about it twice a year, 
and bring their sick to enjoy its healing qualities. At the 
change of the seasons, the time of their semi-annual gather- 
ing, a mist would form over the spring, which, to the 
Indian's fancy, assumed the shape of a spirit, whose good 

^ History of the Baptists, page 595. 


will they desired to enjoy. In selling their lands to William 
Penn, when speaking of their value, it is not impossible 
they spoke of this spring, located in a most beautiful spot 
on the banks of the Delaware. So, when Dungan came to 
purchase land, desiring a quiet region, where he could end 
his days peacefully, Penn, from the love he bore to the 
Baptists, and for his sympathy for those who had come out 
of terrible persecutions, offered him this celebrated place. 

With the church at Cold Spring it is supposed the father 
of the celebrated Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of 
the Declaration of Independence, was associated.* He was 
buried in the graveyard adjoining this church. At that 
time Philadelphia had a population of 2500 persons. 

Upon the restoration of Charles II. to the throne of 
Great Britain, commenced a series of fearful persecutions, in 
which the Baptists suffered a large share. In Wales, for 
twenty-eight years, during his reign, " they had to meet," 
says Davis, "in the most secret places by night, somewhere 
in the woods, or on the Black mountain, or the rough rock. 
They were obliged to change the place every week, that 
their enemies might not find them out. Often the friends 
of the infernal foe diligently sought them, but found them 
not. While the wolves were searching in one mountain, 
the lambs were sheltering under the rock of another. But, 
notwithstanding all their care and prudence, they were 
sometimes caught, and most unmercifully whipped and 
fined. Their cattle and household furniture were seized to 
pay the fines and expenses of the executioners of the law. 
The safest place they ever found was in the woods, under a 
large rock, called Darren Ddu, or the Black Rock. It is a 
most dreadful steep, and the roughest place we have ever 

* See preface to Century Minutes of Philadelphia Baptist Association. 


So great was the hostility of the public authorities that 
the Baptists were not permitted to bury their dead in the 
graveyards. They humbly petitioned the King for pro- 
tection, concluding their appeal thus : — 

O, King, we dare not walk the streets, and we are abused even in 
our own houses. If we pray to God with our famiUes, we are threat- 
ened to be hung. Some of us are stoned almost to death, and others 
are imprisoned for worshipping God according to the dictates of their 
own consciences and the rule of his word. 

This plea was disregarded, and the persecutions from 
1660 to 1688 were most bitter. During all this time the 
annual meetings of the Baptist Association were not held, 
but the opening of Pennsylvania was a source of hope to 
these distressed children of God, and two years before the 
persecution in Wales ended, by reason of its bitterness, 
several members of the Baptist Church of Dolau,with their 
families, sailed for America. Arriving in Philadelphia in 
1686, they settled on the banks of the Pennypack Creek. 
These, with others, subsequently constituted the Pennypack, 
now Lower Dublin, Baptist Church, of this city. Its ancient 
records state: — 

By the good providence of God, there came certain persons out 
of Radnorshire in Wales, and over into this province of Pennsylvania, 
and settled in the township of Dublin, in the county of Philadelphia, 
viz. : John Eatton, George Eatton, and Jane, his wife, Samuel Jones 
and Sarah Eatton, who had been baptized upon confession of faith 
and received into the communion of the church of Christ, meeting 
in the parishes of Llandewi and Nantmel, in Radnorshire, Henry 
Gregory being chief pastor. Also John Baker, who had been bap- 
tized, and a member of a congregation of baptized believers in Kil- 
kenny, in Ireland, Christopher Blackwell, pastor, was, by the provi- 
dence of God, settled in the township aforesaid. In the year 1687 
there came one Samuel Vaus, out of England, and settled near the 
afoiesaid township, and went under the denomination of a Baptist, 
and was so taken to be. 

It was, however, shortly after learned that he had never 
been baptized, and when confronted on the subject by the 


pastor, he acknowledged his imposition, and ceased to be 
one of the church. 

It is to these lands, and, perhaps, to some of the very 
Christians named in the foregoing, that the following copy 
of an Indian deed refers: — 

''I, Richard Mettamicont, Owner of ye Land on both sides of 
Pemmapecca Creek, on the River Delaware, do hereby acknowledge 
y* of my own accord and freewill, I have offer*^ given and disposed 
of, and by these presents do give and dispose of all my Land, situated 
as above mentioned, for me and my Heires forever, unto William 
Penn, Proprietary and Govern"" of ye Province of Pennsilvania, &c., 
his Heirs and Assignes forever. In consideration of w*^^ I confess to 
have received by Ord"" of ye said Govern'', one match coat, one pair 
of stockings and one shert ; And I do now promise never to molest or 
trouble any Christians so called, settled upon any part of ye aforesaid 
Land, by authority of Governour Penn. Witness my hand and seal, 
Philadelphia, ye 7th ye 4th month (June), 1684. 

His mark. L ' J 

Sign'd, seald and delivered in ye presence of 



Indorsed partly by Pen?i. — '' Rich. Mettam^'cont Deed for Lands on 
both sides of Pemmapecka Creek." 

The word Pemmapecca, in the above, leads us to say 
the stream of that name was thus called at first, then 
Pennepek. Now it is generally written Pennypack. It 
means, a pojid, lake or bay ; zvater not having a current. To 
avoid confusion, we hereafter speak of the Pennypack 
Church under its present name of Lower Dublin or Penny- 
pack interchangeably. 

About the same time, Elias Keach, a son of the cele- 
brated Baptist minister, Rev. Benjamin Keach, of London, 
settled in Lower Dublin. He was born in England in 1666, 
so that he was only twenty years of age when he came to 
this country. Morgan P^dwards says of him : — 

On his landing he dressed in black, and wore a band in order to 
pass for a minister. The project succeeded to his wishes, and many 
people resorted to hear the young London divine. He performed 


well enough till he had advanced pretty far in the sermon. Then, 
stopping short, he looked like a man astonished. The audience con- 
cluded he had been seized with a sudden disorder ; but on asking 
what the matter was, received from him a confession of the imposture, 
with tears in his eyes, and much trembling. Great was his distress, 
though it ended happily ; for from this time he dated his conversion. 
He heard there was a Baptist minister at Cold Spring, in Bucks 
county, between Bristol and Trentown. To him did he repair to seek 
counsel and comfort ; and by him was he baptized and ordained. 

The site of his baptism is one of the most beautiful, for 
such a purpose, to be found along the Delaware river. The 
sloping bank with its pebbly bottom, and the bend in the 
river, giving a view up and down for miles, is very fine. 
From then until the present, this same location has fre- 
quently been the scene of Bible baptism. The Christian 
Church, of Tullytown, one mile above, baptize their candi- 
dates here. After his baptism, Mr. Keach at once devoted 
himself to the work of the ministry at Pennypack. Success 
attended him, and on November 21, 1687, he baptized Joseph 
Ashton, Jane Ashton, his wife, Wm. Fisher and John Watts. 

So far as known, this is the first record of a baptism in 
what is now Philadelphia, and it probably took place in the 
Pennypack Creek, at a charming point, which, to this day, 
is used by this venerable church for the same purpose. Of 
this spot the late Rev. WiUiam T. Brantly, D. D., wrote 
in 1829 : — 

A flat rock, which projects into the stream at a certain point, and 
leaves an easy slope into the water, has been for a series of years the 
platform on which the administrator of Baptism has stood to propound 
the way of truth to the surrounding multitude, and from which he 
has conducted into the yielding elements below him, the placid forms 
of new converts. 

The church at Lower Dublin was constituted in January, 
1688, with twelve members. The account of this event is 
given in the church records thus : — 

Sometime after, about the nth month (January, 1687-8), by the 
advice of Elias Keach and with the aforesaid baptized persons' consent, 
a day was set apart to seek God by fasting and prayer, in order to 


form ourselves into a church state. Whereupon Elias Keach was 
accepted and received for our pastor, and we sat down in communioii 
at the Lord's table. Also at the same time Samuel Vaus was chosen, 
and by Elias Keach, with laying on of hands, was ordained to be a 

When the above record was made the year began on 
March 25th. March was then called the first month, and 
that is why September, October, November and December 
were called respectively, as their names in Latin signify, 
the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth months. The eleventh 
month, spoken of above, would of course be January. In 
1752 the calendar was changed from the old style to the 
arrangement as at present. Previous to this change it was 
proper to say that the church was organized in 1687, but 
when the change was made " the eleventh month, 1687," 
became the first month or January, 1688. This change is 
the reason why Morgan Edwards gives, in brackets, the 
double date of i6Sy-S. 

Well has Dr. J. R. Murphy, in his memoir of Rev. J. 
M. Challis, a subsequent pastor at Lower Dublin, said : — 

Thus this old church and mother of churches was organized during 
the very incipiency of the settlement, while yet the homes of its 
members were in the midst of the Indians' hunting grounds. The 
Neshammies and Shackamaxons were still lingering in the old homes 
along the Delaware, and the echo of the Indian war-song had scarcely 
died away when the songs of praise to God arose from an assembled 
church of Christ, and the wilderness and the solitary place was glad. 

Mr. Keach extended his ministerial labors into New 
Jersey, to Trenton, Burlington, Middletown, Cohansey and 
Salem. He frequently preached in Philadelphia, Chester, 
and other places. At that time all the Baptists of Phila- 
delphia and New Jersey were regarded as general members 
of this church. Morgan Edwards says : — 

They were all one church, and Pennepeck the centre of union, 
where as many as could, met to celebrate the memorials of Christ's 
death ; and for the sake of distant members they administered the 


ordinance quarterly at Burlington, Cohansey, Chester and Philadel- 
phia; which quarterly meetings have since transformed into three 
yearly meetings and an association. 

Thus, for some time, continued their Zion with length- 
ened cords till the brethren in remote parts set about forming 
themselves into distinct churches, which began in 1689 and 
continued until these late years. By these detachments 
Pennepeck was reduced to narrow bounds, but yet abides 
among the churches as a mother in the midst of many 

The distance of the above-named places from Lower 
Dublin, and the increase in the number of baptized believers, 
led to the organization of churches at Middletown in 1688, 
Piscataway in 1689, Cohansey in 1690, and Philadelphia in 

Dr. Benedict well says of Mr. Keach, " that he may be 
considered as the chief apostle among the Baptists in these 
parts of America." Visiting these numerous places in that 
early day necessitated his absence from Lower Dublin fre- 
quently, but the little band of disciples kept up each week 
" meetings for Conference," wherein " every brother might 
have opportunity to exercise what gifts God had been 
pleased to bestow on them for the edification of one 
another." In this way brethren gifted in prayer and exhor- 
tation were brought out, and the church enabled always to 
have within her own fold those upon whom she could de- 
pend in the absence of her pastor. 

Differences arose in the church relative to laying on of 
hands after baptism, and upon other matters of doctrine 
and practice, so that in 1689 Mr. Keach resigned the pas- 
torate and devoted himself to preaching the gospel in various 
parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. 

The year that witnessed the constitution of the Lower 
Dublin Church was also signalized by the death of Rev. 
Thomas Dungan. 


Of this venerable father (says Morgan Edwards, in 1770) I can 
learn no more than that he came from Rhode Island, about the year 
1684. That he and his family settled at Cold Spring, where he 
gathered a church, of which nothing remains but a graveyard and 
the names of the families which belonged to it, viz. : the Dungans, 
Gardeners, Woods, Doyles, etc. That he died in 1688 and was buried 
in said graveyard. That his children were five sons and four 
daughters, who formed connections with families by the names of Wing 
of Rhode Island; Drake, West, Richards, Doyle and Kerrels. To 
mention the names, alHance and offspring of these, would tend towards 
an endless genealogy. Sufficeth it that the Rev. Thomas Dungan, 
the first Baptist minister in the province, now existeth in a progeny of 
between six and seven hundred. 

Mr. Dungan must have been a man far advanced in 
years, as the Minutes of the Lower Dublin Church, in 
speaking of him as baptizing Elias Keach, call him " an 
ancient disciple and teacher among the Baptists." 

December 10, 1690, Rev. John Watts assumed the pas- 
torate at Lower Dublin. He was born in Leeds, Kent 
County, England, baptized by Rev. Elias Keach, November 
21, 1687, and was a constituent of the church, whose pas- 
torate he now filled. He was a man of decided talents as 
a preacher and writer, and most earnestly contended for the 
faith delivered once for all to the saints. He was, as we 
shall see, destined to take a prominent part in the earliest 
history and founding of the First Baptist Church of this city. 
His settlement as pastor at Lower Dublin was the last im- 
portant event in the first decade of Baptist history in 


CHAPTER IL— 1691-1700. 


THE closing decade of the seventeenth century was 
not without interest among the Baptists of this city. 
In 1 69 1 a division arose among the Quakers, ''touching the 
sufficiency of what every man has within himself, for the 
puipose of his own salvation." Some denied that sufficiency, 
and consequently magnified the external Word, Christ, etc. 
These were headed by the celebrated George Keith, and, 
therefore, were called Keithians. They were about fifty in 
number. He issued several articles. 

1. To inform the world of the principles of the Separate Quakers. 

2. To fix the blame of separation on the opposite party. 

3. To complain of the unfair treatment, slanders, fines, imprison- 
ments, and other species of persecution, which they endured from 
their brethren. 

''Whether these complaints,'' says Morgan Edwards, "be just or 
not, is neither my business nor inclination to determine. 11 just, the 
Quakers have also shown that every sect would persecute, had they 
but power. I know of but one exception to this satirical remark, and 
that is the Baptists ; they have had civil power in their hands in Rhode 
Island government, and yet have never abused it in this manner, 
their enemies themselves being judges. And it is remarkable that 
John Holmes, Esq., the only Baptist magistrate in Philadelphia at 
the tim.e referred to, refused to act with the Quaker magistrates, 
against the Keithians, alleging that it was a religious dispute, and, 
therefore, not fit for a civil court. Nay, he openly blamed the court, 
held at Philadelphia, December 6-12, 1692, for refusing to admit the 


exceptions which the prisoners made to their jury. However, the 
Keithian Quakers soon decHned ; their head deserted them and went 
over to the EpiscopaHans. Some followed him thither ; some returned 
to the Penn Quakers ; and some went to other societies. Nevertheless, 
many persisted in the separation, particularly at Upper Providence, 
at Philadelphia, at Southampton, and at Lower Dublin. The Keithian 
Quakers who kept together at Philadelphia, built a meeting-house in 
1692. Of these two public persons were baptized in 1697, by Rev. 
Thomas Killingsworth, of Cohansey. Their names were William 
Davis and Thomas Rutter. The first joined Pennepeck ; the other 
kept preaching in Philadelphia, where he baptized one Henry Bernard 
Hoster, Thomas Peart, and seven others whose names are not on 
record. These nine persons united in communion June 12th, 1698, 
having Thomas Rutter to be their minister." 

Rev. Mr. Killingsworth was an English Baptist minister. 
Having removed to this country in the year 1686 he began 
preaching the gospel in the vicinity of Piscataway, New 
Jersey, and aided in founding the Baptist Church of that 
name. About 1692 he settled near Salem, in the same 
State, and was the first pastor of the Cohansey Baptist 
Church. He was a man of talent, energy and good sense. 

The aforenamed William Davis became a troubler in 
Zion. He had been a Quaker preacher, then a Keithian, 
and finally a Baptist. He held Sabellian views, and was so 
pronounced in them as to make himself a subject of disci- 
pline. Rev. John Watts wrote a book entitled Davis Dis- 
abled, in reply to the heresies of his parishoner. Davis 
was finally excluded from the Lower Dublin Church. At 
this time, in the vicinity of Pennypack, there was a body of 
Keithians, one of whom, on September 27th, 1697, became 
a Baptist. To this party William Davis joined himself, and 
became their minister. In 1699 they received quite an 
accession to their number by baptism. 

After the death of Rev. Thomas Dungan, Elias Keach 
and John Watts preached as often as possible at Cold Spring, 
about nine miles distant from Pennypack. In 1692, in the 
Minutes of the Pennypack Church, the names of five of the 


Cold Spring members are given, among whom is Elizabeth, 
the widow of the late pastor, Mr. Dungan. 

The varieties and phases of theological opinion preva- 
lent, led the Baptists to feel the need of proper instruction 
in the true faith for their children and the church members. 
Mr. Watts was, therefore, requested to prepare a Catechism 
and Confession of Faith, which he did, and it was published 
in 1700. 

The Keithian Quakers soon became convinced on the 
subject of baptism, and "ended in a kind of transformation 
of Keithian Baptists; they were also called Quaker Baptists, 
because they still retained the language, dress and manners 
of the Quakers." These again divided on the Sabbath 
question; some becoming Seventh-day while the others 
went among the First-day Baptists. A Confession of Faith 
was published by the Keithian Baptists in 1697. It consists 
chiefly of the Apostle's Creed. The additions are articles 
which relate to baptism by immersion, the Lord's Supper, 
distinguishing days and months by numerical names, 
" plainness of language and dress, not swearing, not fight- 
ing," etc. 

In 1692 some Mennonite families settled in the neigh- 
borhood of Germantown and Frankford ; and to these con- 
stant accessions were made of others who emigrated from 
Europe. The founder of this sect was Menno Simon, a 
German Baptist, who was born in Friesland, in 1505, and 
who died in Holstein in 1561. This body originally were 
strict immersionists. Their founder declared, ** After we 
have searched diligently, we shall find no other baptism but 
dipping in the w.iter, which is acceptable to God and ap- 
proved in his word." 

Rev. dias Keach did not remain long to witness the 
growth of those principles he so earnestly advocated. In 
the spring of 1692 he embarked for England with his family, 


and became a celebrated and successful preacher in London. 
Hon. Horatio Gates Jones, of this city, who has rendered 
most valuable service to the denomination hereabouts in 
collecting facts and papers relating to our early history, 
says,* of this first Baptist pastor in the city of Philadelphia, 
after his return to England : — 

He became pastor of a church, which he was instrumental in 
gathering, in Ayles Street, Goodman's-field, London, in April, 1693; 
and, so successful was he, that in February, 1694, he wrote to Rev. 
John Watts, that in nine months he had baptized about one hundred 
and thirty persons. He remained the pastor of that church until 
October 27, 1699, when he died, after a brief illness, in the thirty- 
fourth year of his age. His funeral sermon was preached by Rev. 
Nathaniel Wyles, and is entitled. Death's Arrest, the Saint's Release. 

Mr. Keach wrote and published several works. First, Four ser- 
mons preached prior to 1694, in Pinner's Hall. Second, A Confession 
of Faith, Church Covenant, Discipline, etc. Third, Two sermons on 
The Nature a?id Excellency of the Grace of Patience. While in 
Pennsylvania, Mr. Keach married Mary Moore, a daughter of the 
Hon. Nicholas Moore, who was Chief Justice ot Pennsylvania, and 
after whom the manor of Mooreland was named, he being the owner 
of that tract of land. They had an only daughter, Hannah, who 
married Revitt Harrison, of England, and had a son, John Elias 
Keach Harrison, who came to America about the year 1734, and lived 
at Hatborough, and was a member of the Baptist Church of South- 
ampton, in Bucks county. Pa. The widow of Judge Moore, subse- 
quently became the wife of John Holme, Esq., then of Philadelphia, 
but aftei wards of Salem, N. J. 

For the history of our denomination in this vicinity 
during these early times, we owe a debt of gratitude to 
Rev. Morgan Edwards. He gathered invaluable material 
for Baptist History. God be thanked for raising up such 
men. As a denomination we have not given due attention 
to our history. A Baptist who is thoroughly acquainted 
with the principles which he professes, is not often much 
concerned to trace his tenets through the different centuries 
of the Christian era. It is enough for him to find that the 

* Historical sketch of the Lower Dublin Baptist Church, page 19. 


doctrines he avows are distinctly expressed and commanded 
in the great commission of the Divine Redeemer, and that 
they were professed and preached by his inspired apostles. 
Yet he is not without testimony from, nor should he be un- 
interested in, ecclesiastical history, that from the days of 
the apostles to the present time, there were persons who 
held and advocated the principles he maintains. 

The church at Lower Dublin was in what was then 
known as the county of Philadelphia. Yet this decade was 
not to close ere a Baptist church in the city was organized. 
Of this movement Morgan Edwards says : — 

In the year 1686, one John Holmes, who was a Baptist, arrived 
and settled in the neighborhood. He was a man of property and 
learning, and, therefore, we find him in the magistracy of the place 
in 1 69 1, and was the same man who refused to act with the Quaker 
magistrates against the Keithians. He died Judge of Salem Court. 
In 1696, John Farmer and his wife, arrived; they belonged to 
the church of Rev. Hanserd Knollys. In 1697, one Joseph Todd 
and Rebecca Woosoncroft, came to the same neighborhood, who 
belonged to a Baptist church in Limmington, in Hampfihire, England, 
whereof Rev. John Rumsay was pastor. The next year, one William 
Silverstone, William Elton and wife, and Mary Shephard, were 
baptized by John Watts. These nine persons, on the second 
Sunday of December, 1698, assembled at a house in Barbadoes 
lot, and coalesced into a church for the communion of saints, having 
Rev. John Watts to their assistance. 

In addition to what Morgan Edwards says of the char- 
acter of John Holme, we may add there are many illustra- 
tions of his ability, prominence and respectability as a man 
and a citizen. In a petition to the Governor and Council 
of this province, in 1 69 1, relative " to the cove at the Blue 
Anchor to be laid out for a convenient harbor to secure 
shipping against ice or other danger of the winter, and that 
no person, for private gains or interest may incommode the 
public utility of a whole city " — immediately after the name 
of Humphrey Murray, who is spoken of as the " mayor," 
occurs the name of John Holme. The position of this 



name among many others being indicative of the promi- 
nence and the respectabihty of the man, while the subject 
of the petition is illustrative of his liberal views and excel- 
lent judgment. In 1696 he wrote a poem, entitled "A True 
Relation of the Flourishing State of Pennsylvania." It is 
published in the Bulletin of the Historical Society of Penn- 

barbadoes storehouse. 

Beginning with April, 1695, Rev. John Watts, pastor of 
the church at Lower Dublin, preached twice a month in the 
city of Philadelphia, in the Barbadoes storehouse, situated at 
the northwest corner of Second and Chestnut streets. The 
Presbyterians occupied this structure conjointly with the 
Baptists. The Presbyterians, however, were first to settle a 
pastor, the Rev. Jedediah Andrews, of New England. 
Coming from that part of our country where the Baptists 
were most bitterly persecuted, his love for them was not 
strong; hence he inaugurated measures to drive them out 
of the building they had occupied, in connection with the 
Presbyterians, for over three years. 

* Volume I, No. 13. 


In view of this conduct, the Baptists wrote to them the 
following courteous and Christian letter : — 

To our dear and well beloved friends and brethren— Mr. Jedediah Andrews, 
John Green, Joshua Story and Samuel Richardson, and the rest of the 
Presbyterian judgment, belonging to the meeting in Philadelphia— the 
Church of Christ, baptized on confession of faith, over which Rev. John 
Watts is pastor, send salutation of grace, mercy and peace, from God our 
Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ : — 

Dearly Beloved: Having seriously and in the fear of God con- 
sidered our duties of love to and bearing with one another, and receiv- 
ing the weak in faith ; and knowing that love, peace and unity tend 
much to the honor of Christ and Christianity, and to the conviction 
and conversion of sinners, and the comfort and establishment of be- 
lievers, and being desirous of your company heavenward as far as may 
be, and as much as we can to heal the breach betwixt us, occasioned 
by our difference in judgment (none being yet perfect in knowledge), 
we have thought it necessary to make you this proposition following, 
for peace (as being the necessary term upon which we may safely, 
comfortably and peaceably hold Christian communion together in the 
things wherein we agree in the public worship of God and common 
duties of religion, as in prayer, preaching, praising God, reading and 
hearing the word), viz., we do freely confess and promise for ourselves 
that we can and do own and allow of all approved ministers, who are 
fitly qualified and sound in the faith, and of holy lives, to pray and 
preach in our assemblies. If you can also confess and promise for 
yourselves that you can and will own and allow of our approved min- 
isters, who are fully qualified and sound in the faith, and of holy lives, 
to preach in your assemblies, that so each side may own, embrace and 
accept of each other as fellow brethren and ministers of Christ, and 
hold and maintain Christian communion and fellowship. Unto which 
proposition (that further disputes and vain janglings may be pre- 
vented) we shall desire, if you please, your plain and direct answer, 
that it may be left for us at Widow Elton's house in Philadelphia. 

Subscribed in behalf of the rest of the congregation the 30th of 
Sih month (October), 1698. 




To the above letter a reply was returned by the Presby- 
terians, dated November 3, 1698, and signed by Rev. Jede- 
diah Andrews, John Green, Samuel Richardson, David 
Gifting, Herbert Corry, John Vanlear and David Green, in 


which they requested a conference at some time and place 
to be appointed by the Baptists, in order that they might 
agree upon what was to be done. The 19th of November 
was fixed for the consultation at the common meeting-house 
on the Barbadoes lot, and the notification was delivered to 
Mr. Andrews. 

At the time appointed, Messrs. John Watts, Samuel 
Jones and Evan Morgan went to the city and were at the 
place of meeting, but no one came. Word was sent to Mr. 
Andrews, and his attendance was desired ; but he excused 
himself on the pretext that he thought the time was the 
second day after, or the 22d inst. The three brethren waited 
all day, but in vain. Before leaving the building, they 
wrote a letter to the Presbyterians. After stating their dis- 
appointment in not meeting them for conference, they said : 

Considering what the desires of divers people are, and how they 
stand affected, and that we are not likely to receive an answer to our 
reasonable proposition, necessity constrains us to meet apart from 
you until such time as we receive an answer, and we are assured that 
you can own us so as we do you ; though we still remain the same as 
before, and stand by what we have written. 

The next day being Sunday, the Baptists met apart. 
" This," says Edwards, " was what the Presbyterians wanted, 
in reality, as more plainly appeared soon after, particularly 
in a letter directed to one Thomas Revell, of Burlington, and 
signed * Jedediah Andrews,' wherein are these words : 
' Though we have got the Anabaptists out of the house, yet 
our continuance there is uncertain, and therefore must think 
o( building, notwithstanding our poverty.' " 

The Baptists secured a place for worship near the draw- 
bridge, known as Anthony Morris' Brewhouse. Here they 
continued their religious services unmolested for several 
years. This brewhouse was situated at what is now known 
as Dock and Water Streets. Nevertheless, the First Church 


was organized December ii, 1698, on the Barbadoes lot, 
as Morgan Edwards certifies. 

During the progress of the difficulty relative to the 
occupancy of the storehouse, Rev. Thomas Clayton, Rector 
of Christ Church, sent a letter to the Baptists, inviting them 
to unite with the Church of England, where they could 
enjoy the comforts of a convenient house of worship, or if 
they could not accept the proposition, to state their reasons 
for rejecting it. The reply of the Baptists was eminently 
Christian in spirit, Baptistic in sentiment, and loyal in its 
adherence to the New Testament as our only rule in all 
matters of religious belief and practice. Persecution in the 
Barbadoes storehouse did not force the honored founders 
of our First Church into retaliation, nor did the alluring 
proffers of the Church of England tempt them to swerve 
in their loyalty to God's truth. Their reply to Rev. Thomas 
Clayton was as follows . — 

Rev. Thomas Clayto7i. 

Sir : Whereas we received a letter invitatory from you to return to 
your Church of England (dated Sept. 26, 1698), wherein you desire us 
to send you in hiunility and without prejudice, the objections why we 
may not be united in one community, and withal that you doubt not 
but by the blessing and assistance of God, you will be able to show thejji 
to be stumbling-blocks made by our wills and not by our feaso7i j and 
some of us, in behalf of the rest, having on the reception thereof 
given you a visit, and had discourse with you concerning some of the 
ceremonies of your church (about which you gave no satisfaction), 
we did not think that you expected any other answer from us ; but in 
your late letter to John Watts, you signify that you have received no 
answer to your former letter. We, therefore, taking this into con- 
sideration, do signify, in answer to your aforesaid invitation and pro- 
posal, that to rend from a rightly constituted church of Christ is that 
which our souls abhor ; and that love, peace and unity with all Chris- 
tians, and concord and agreement in the true faith and worship of 
God are that which we greatly desire, and we should be glad if your- 
self or others would inform us whenever we err from the truth and 
ways of Christ. Nor are we averse to a reconciliation with the Church 
of England, provided it can be proved by the Holy Scriptures that 
her constitution, orders, officers, worship and service are of divine 


appointment, and not of human invention. And, since you yourself 
are the person that has given us the invitation, and hath promised to 
show us that otir objectio7is are stu7nbli7ig-blocks made by otir wills 
and not by our reason, and we understanding that our Lord Jesus 
Christ is the only Head, King, Lord and Lawgiver of his Church, 
whom all are bound to hear and obey under the severe penalty of an 
utter extermination from among the people of God, and that his laws 
and will are only to be found in and known by sacred Scriptures, 
which are the only supreme, sufficient and standing rule of all faith 
and worships, and not understanding the constitution of your church 
(with all the orders, officers, worship and service at this day in use 
and maintained therein) to be agreeable to and warranted thereby, 
hath been the cause of our separation from her, and is the objection 
we have to make, or the stumbling-block which lies in our way to 
such a union and communion as you desire. We, therefore, hope 
and expect, according to your promise, that you will endeavor its 
removal by showing us from Holy Scripture these two things, as ab- 
solutely necessary thereunto : 

I. That the formation of your Church, with all the orders, officers, 
rites and ceremonies now in use and practiced therein, are of divine 

Particularly that the Church of Christ under the New Testament 
may consist or may be made up of a mixed multitude and their seed, 
even all that are members of a nation who are willing to go under the 
denomination of Christians, whether they are godly or ungodly, holy 
or profane. 

That lords archbishops, and diocesan lords archbishops, such as 
are now m England, are of divine institution and appointment. That 
the government of the Church of Christ under the Gospel is prelatical 
according as it is practiced this day in your church, and that your 
ecclesiastical courts are of divine appointment. That particular 
churches or congregations, whether ministers or elders, who have 
power to receive persons with memberships, have not likewise authority 
(by Matthew i8 : 15-18; i Corinthians 5) to execute Church censures 
and excommunication upon miscreants, swearers, liars, drunkards, 
adulterers, Jews, Atheists, etc.; but that it is by divine appointment 
that they must be presented to their ordinaries, and only proceeded 
against in our ecclesiastical courts. That the several offices of deans, 
subdeans, chapters, archdeacons, prebendaries, chancellors, commis- 
saries, officials, registers, canons, petty canojis, vicars, chorals, 
appavitors, organists, vergers, singing men and boys, septins, epistlers, 
gospelers, and such like offices and officers, of your church and eccle- 
siastical courts are of divine institution, or have any Scripture warrant 
to justify them, and to bear them harmless on the last day. 


That unpreaching ministers may celebrate the sacraments by- 
Scripture warrant. That their different apparel, in time of divine 
service, such as hoods, tippets, surplices, etc., are of divine institution 
or have any Scripture warrant in the New Testament. 

That the manner of public service and liturgy of the Church of 
England, with the visitation of the sick, burial of the dead, churching 
of women, matrimony, etc., as now in use are of divine appointment. 
That the people ought, by the rule of God's word, only with the 
minister, to say the Confession, Lord's Prayer, and the Creed, and 
make such answers to the public prayers as are appointed in the Book 
of Common Prayer. That it is God's holy will and pleasure that 
saint's days or holy days should be kept and observed by Christians, 
according to the use of the Church of England. 

That instruments of music are to be used in God's worship by the 
New Testament. 

That infant baptism is a duty. 

That pouring or sprinkling water is the proper way of baptizing. 

That your manner of administering the sacraments, and signing 
with the cross in baptism, are of divine appointment. 

These are some of the things we desire you to prove and make 
plain to us by the Holy Scriptures. But if the case is such that some 
or all of them cannot be, then the 

II. Thing necessary to our reconciliation with your Church is, 
that you will give us clear and infallible proof from God's Holy Word, 
such as will bear us harmless in the last day, that our Lord Jesus 
Christ has given power and authority to any man, men, convocation, 
or synod, to make, constitute, and set up any other laws, orders, 
officers, rites, and ceremonies in his Church, beside those which he 
hath therein appointed, according as may from time to time seem 
convenient, and that we are bound in conscience towards God by the 
authority of his word to yield obedience thereunto, or whether it will 
not rather be a sore reflection upon the sufficiency of the Holy Scrip- 
tures, and a high defamation of the kingly and prophetical offices of 
Jesus Christ to suppose such a thing. 

Thus we have in humility and without prejudice sent our objec- 
tions, and if you can, according to your letter, show them to be 
stumbling-blocks made by our wills ajid not by our reason, we shall 
be very thankful, and you shall not find us obstinate, but ready to 
accept your invitation. But until you do so, and prove the constitu- 
tion, orders, rites and ceremonies of your church to be of God, it is 
but reason that you should suspend all charge oi schism against us, 
and desist from blaming us for our peaceful separation. Which is 
all, at present, from your loving friends, who desire information and 



unity among saints, and the churches' peace, that God may be glori- 
fied through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. 

Subscribed by us, members of the general meeting, in behalf of 
all the rest, March nth, 1699. 



Owing to the interest which gathers about Christ Church 
and our own history, in view of the above, a picture of the 
church edifice, as it now stands on Second street above 
Market, is herewith given. It was erected in 1754. 



CHAPTER III— 1701-1710. 


IN a previous article reference was made to the Seventh- 
Day Baptists. Morgan Edwards says, '' They originated 
from the Keithian Baptists in 1700. Before that time, I 
can find but one Seventh-Day Baptist in Pennsylvania, viz., 
Mr. Abel Noble. He arrived, it is said, in 1684. His name 
is among the forty-eight who signed the reasons for the 
Keithian separation in 1 69 1. By him was the first Keithian 
baptized in 1697, and by him were the rest gained over to 
the observance of the seventh day. I suppose, therefore, 
he may be called the father of them in this part of America." 
In the above, Mr. Edwards speaks of this sect, simply in 
these parts. It had existed in New England anterior to 
this time. 

In 1 70 1 the Pennypack Keithians, under the leadership 
of William Davis, having divided on the Sabbath question, 
"built a place of worship in Oxford Township." Their 
preacher subsequently left them and joined the Seventh- 
Day Baptists, their meeting-house was taken from them, 
and they were as sheep without a shepherd. Those who 
adhered to the first day Sabbath joined the Pennypack 
Baptist Church. 

A society of Seventh-Day Baptists originated in the 
neighborhood, in 1701, by means of the efforts of Abel 
Noble. " In the year 1702," says Morgan Edwards, ''they 
built a meeting-house on a lot given them by Thomas 


Graves ; but, having neglected to take a conveyance in due 
time, the EpiscopaHans have got both the lot and the house. 
On the lot they have built Oxford Church, and turned the 
Baptist meeting-house into a stable, while it stood, but now 
it is no more." 

Notwithstanding the above statement, of the gift of the 
Oxford Church property, the ownership of it by the Epis- 
copalians is legitimate, and cannot be disputed. 

In 1 70 1, an entire church, consisting of sixteen members, 
constituted in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, arrived in this 
country. Rev. Thomas Griffith came with them as their 
minister. They landed in Philadelphia September 8th. 
The brethren here treated them courteously, and advised 
them to settle in the vicinity of Pennypack, which they did, 
and continued there for two years. During that time they 
kept together as a distinct church, held meetings at each 
other's residences, and observed the ordinances of Christ. 
In the two years, twenty-one persons were added to their 
number. The ceremony of laying on of hands upon newly 
baptized converts prevailed among the Welsh churches at 
this period, and was observed by this emigrant church, 
but the Pennypack brethren disagreed, and for the sake of 
peace, the newly-settled body from Wales removed to Dela- 
ware, purchased a tract of land, and named the place 
" Welsh Tract." The church assumed the name, and to 
this day is known as ** The Welsh Tract Baptist Church." 
Organized in Wales, and emigrating to this country as a 
church, it was called, for a long time, "The Emigrant 

Concerning the rite of laying on of hands, the Lower 
Dublin Church practiced it at the first, but, says Hon. H. 
G. Jones, " It afterwards grew indifferent on the subject. It 
was, however, continued in many churches, and at first the 
practice was insisted on as a term of Communion. Grad- 


ually, and after a free conference, the churches of Pennsyl- 
vania and Delaware agreed that the practice or disuse of 
the ordinance should not be a bar to Communion." In 
speaking of the Welsh Tract Church, Morgan Edwards 
says : — 

It was the principal, if not sole, means of introducing singing, 
imposition of hands, church covenants, etc., among the Baptists in 
the Middle States. Singing psalms met with opposition, especially 
at Cohansey, but laying on of hands on baptized believers as such, 
gained acceptance with more difficulty, as appears from the following 
history translated from the Welsh Tract book, viz., ''But we could 
not be in fellowship (at the Lord's table) with our brethren in Penny- 
pack and Philadelphia, because they did not hold to the laying on of 
hands, and some other particulars relating to a church ; true, some 
of them believed in the ordinance, but neither preached it nor prac- 
ticed it ; and when we moved to Welsh Tract, and left twenty-two of 
our members at Pennypack, and took some of their members down 
with us, the difficulty increased. We had many meetmgs to com- 
promise matters, but to no purpose, till June 22d, 1706; then the 
following deputies (naming twenty-five persons) met at the house of 
Bro. Richard Miles, in Radnor, Delaware County, Pa., and agreed — 

1. That a member of either church might transiently Commune with the other. 

2. That a member who desired to come under the laying on of hands might 
have his liberty without offence. 

3. That the votaries of the rite might preach or debate upon the subject with 
all freedom, consistent with charity and brotherly love. 

But three years after this meeting we had reason to review the 
transaction, because of some brethren who arrived from Wales, and 
one among ourselves, who questioned whether the first article was 
warrantable; but we are satisfied that all was right, by the good 
effects which followed : for from that time forth our brethren held 
sweet communion together at the Lord's table, and our minister, Rev. 
Thomas Griffiths, was invited to preach and assist at an ordination at 
Pennypack, after the death of our Bro. Watts. He proceeded from 
thence to the Jerseys, where he enlightened many in the good ways 
of the Lord, insomuch that, in three years after, all the ministers and 
about twenty- five private members had submitted to the ordinance.'' 

The above, from the Welsh Tract records, was translated 
by Morgan Edwards, and can be relied on. It affords proof 
that the practice of laying on of hands was nearly if not 
quite universal in all this section of the country. 


On the 27th of August, 1702, Rev. John Watts, pastor 
of the Pennypack Church, died. He was buried in the 
graveyard adjoining the meeting-house. On his tombstone 
is the following acrostical inscription : — 

Interred here I be, 

Oh, that you could now see. 

How unto Jesus for to flee, 

Not in sin still to be. 

Warning in time pray take. 

And peace by Jesus make. 

Then at the last when you awake. 

Sure on his right hand you'll partake. 

Mr. Watts was the first Baptist minister interred in 
Philadelphia. The sixteen years of his life spent here had 
been fraught with blessed results, in laying broad and deep 
in Bible truth, the foundations on which our denominational 
superstructure has since been rising with such magnificent 
proportions, to the glory of God and the praise of his grace. 

The year of this pioneer's death was signalized by the 
disbanding of the church at Cold Spring, after an existence 
of eighteen years as the First Baptist Church in Pennsyl- 
vania. The members mostly united with the Pennypack 
organization, into the fellowship of which were baptized, 
during this year, thirteen persons, the largest number thus 
received, with one exception, during the first forty-four years 
of the church's history. For many years after the disband- 
ing of the organization, there were members of Pennypack 
living at Cold Spring. 

Ever since the act of clear-headed and simple justice, on 
the part of John Holme, Esq., relative to the dispute be- 
tween the Keithian and Penn Quakers, there had been a 
friendly feeling among the former towards the Baptists, so 
that when the Baptists were unrighteously expelled from 
their original place of worship, and refused to go to law 
with their Christian brethren of another denomination to be 


reinstated in said house, the Keithians kindly offered them 
the use of their edifice. This was in 1707, when the 
Keithian ''Society in a manner broke up," and together 
with the invited regular Baptists they became incorporated 
as one body. 

The Keithian meeting-house, erected in 1692, was a 
small wooden building. It passed into the hands of the 
Baptists, and for nearly a quarter of a century was occupied 
by them. It stood on the identical spot in Lagrange Place, 
where for so many years the First Baptist Church maintained 
their edifice. 

The meetings for conference sustained by the Lower 
Dublin Church developed the talents of their young men, 
and kept up a constant supply of preachers for their pulpit. 
These young men, too, were under the constant supervision 
and encouragement of the pastor, and acted as his assistants. 

Upon the death of John Watts, the church called two 
of its members to ordination and the joint care of the con- 
gregation — Evan Morgan and Samuel Jones. The former 
was called to the ministry in 1702 and the latter in 1697. 
They were both ordained, October 23, 1706, by Rev. Thomas 
Killingsworth, of Cohansey, and Rev. Thomas Griffiths, of 
Welsh Tract. Rev. Evan Morgan's life in the active 
ministry was very short. He was born in Wales, and came 
to this country when young. He was originally a Quaker, 
but went off with the Keithians. He was baptized in 1697, 
by Thomas Rutter, at Southampton, in Bucks county, but 
the same year he renounced his connection with the Quakers 
and became a member at Lower Dublin. He was a man of 
marked piety, prudence and intelligence. Rev. Samuel 
Jones was born in Radnorshire, Wales, July 6, 1657, and 
was baptized there, in 1683, by Rev. Henry Gregory. He 
was a constituent member of the Lower Dublin Church, 
and gave the lot on which the meeting-house stands. The 


original house, built of stone, tzventy -five feet square, was 
erected in 1707. The deed for the lot is dated Jan. 14, 17 10. 

The reader will make a distinction between the above 
Samuel Jones and the Rev. Dr. Samuel Jones, hereafter to 
be mentioned. Both have the same name, but it is the 
latter who became so celebrated in our denomination's work 
in this country. 

The year 1707, made memorable by the erection, for the 
first time in Philadelphia, of a Baptist meeting-house, and,, 
by the occupancy of another, which the First Church could 
call their own, was still further marked by the organization 
of the Philadelphia Baptist Association — the first, and, for 
over fifty years, the only Baptist Association in the country. 
This was on Saturday, July 27, 1707. As the Baptists 
commenced to worship in the Keithian meeting-house, 
March 15, 1707, it was in that unpretending frame structure 
this Association was organized. In the constituency of this 
Association it may be observed, the name of the Philadelphia 
Church does not appear. The reason was, that said body 
was regarded as a branch of the one at Lower Dublin, 
and the pastors of that church, for nearly fifty years, supplied 
the pulpit in Philadelphia. It is, nevertheless, a fact that 
in the meeting-house of the First Baptist Church, of this 
city, the Philadelphia Baptist Association started on its 
honored and successful career. 

In his Century sermon,* Dr. Samuel Jones says: — 
This association originated in what they called general, and some- 
times yearly meetings. These meetings were instituted so early 
as 1688, and met alternately in May and September, at Lower Dublin, 
Philadelphia, Salem, Cohansie, Chester and Burlington; at which 
places there were members though no church or churches constituted, 
except Lower Dublin and Cohansie. At these meetings their labor 
was chiefly confined to the ministry of the word, and the administra- 
tion of Gospel ordinances. But in the year 1707 they seem to have 
taken more properly the form of an Association ; for then they had 
delegates from several churches, and attended to their general con- 

Century Minutes, page 454. 


cerns. We, therefore, date our beginning as an association from that 
time; though we might, with but Kttle impropriety, extend it back 
some years. They were at this time but a feeble band, though a band 
of faithful brothers, consisting of but five churches- The church at 
Lower Dublin, Piscataqua, Middletown, Cohansie and Welsh Tract. 

In the Century Minutes* of the Association is the follow- 
ing account of the first meeting in 1707 : — 

There is no track or footsteps of any regular association, agree- 
ment, or confederation, between the first churches in these colonies 
of Pennsylvania and the Jerseys, that I can find, before the year 1707, 
when we have, in the records of the Church of Pennepeck, this ac- 
count, viz.: Before our general meeting held at Philadelphia, in the 
seventh month, 1707, it was concluded by the several congregations 
of our judgment, to make choice of some particular brethren, such as 
they thought most capable in every congregation, and those to meet 
at the yearly meeting to consult about such things as were wanting in 
the churches, and to set them in order; and these brethren meeting 
at the said yearly meeting, which beg^n the 27th of the seventh 
month, on the seventh day of the week, agreed to continue the meet- 
ing till the third day following in the work of the public ministry. 
It was then agreed that a person that is a stranger, that has neither 
a letter of recommendation, nor is known to be a person gifted, and 
of a good conversation, shall not be admitted to preach, nor be enter- 
tained as a member in any of the baptized congregations in commu- 
nion with each othen 

It was also concluded that if any difference shall happen between 
any member and the church he belongs unto, and they cannot agree, 
then the person grieved may, at the general meeting, appeal to the 
brethren of the several congregations, and with such as they shall 
nominate, to decide the difference ; that the church and the person 
so grieved do fully acquiesce in their determination. It was also 
agreed That no man shall be allowed to preach among the Asso- 
ciated Churches, except he produce credentials of his being in com- 
munion with his church, and of his having been called and licensed 
to preach. 

The object of this arrangement is thus stated by Morgan 
Edwards : — 

Before this, vain and insufficient men who had set themselves up 
to be preachers, would stroll about the country under the name of 
Baptist Ministers ; also, ministers degraded and ex-communicated, 
who, with their immorality too, brought disgrace on the very name of 
Baptist; which evil the above agreement of the Association, if attended 

*Page 25. 


to, would in a great measure remedy. Christ is the door to the 
ministry, and his church is the porter, for to it hath been given the 
keys ; and whoever comes in at the door, to him the porter openeth, 
John X : 3 ; he that climbeth into the pulpit any other way, climbeth 
thither by an extraordinary call and mission, and must give an extra- 
ordinary proof thereof, as the Apostles did, or subject him.self to a 
suspicion of intrusion and imposture. And it has been found, that 
they who pretend to extraordinary call and missions are such as could 
obtain no ordinary ones, because either their characters or gifts would 
not justify any church that should put them into the ministry. In 
truth they aie self-made preachers ; and it has been said that a ''self- 
made preacher, a quack doctor, and a pettifogging lawyer, are three 
animals that the world would do better without than with." 

Relative to the motive and object prompting to the or- 
ganization of this Association, Hon. Horatio Gates Jones 
says :— 

As the churches increased in number, and also in membership, 
various questions arose, both as to matters of faith and discipline. It 
was, of course, desirable for all the churches to have the same rules 
and to act in unity ; and yet each Baptist church being independent 
of all others, it was apparent to the pastors and brethren that some 
general meeting was necessary where such questions could be freely 
and amicably discussed, and where counsel and advice could be given. 
Hence, it was proposed to associate, once a year, for this purpose, by 
representatives from the several churches. This annual meeting was, 
therefore, designated by the name of an "Association;'' but it had no 
power or authority to bind the churches composing it, and from the 
very first was regarded as an Advisory Coii7icil — and such is the 
character of all Baptist Associations in America, as well as in all 
other parts of the world. 

The vast field occupied by the church at Lower DubHn 
required an additional minister; so, on September 25th, 
1708, Joseph Wood, a member of the church, was set apart 
by public ordination. He was born near Hull, in Yorkshire, 
England, in 1659, and came to America about 1684. He 
was baptized by Elias Keach, at Burlington, N. J., June 
24th, 1 69 1. He aided Revs. Evan Morgan and Samuel 
Jones, as co-pastor in their ministerial work. The following 
year two ministers, who had been prominently identified 
with our churches in this city, died — Rev. Thomas Killings- 


worth, of Cohansey, N. ]., and Rev, Evan Morgan, of Penny- 
pack. The latter passed away February i6th, 1709, and 
was buried near the church. Their loss was severely felt, 
but the Master raised up others to take their place. In 
1 8 10, three young men arrived from Wales — Jenkin Jones, 
Benjamin Griffith and David Davis, all of whom became 
ministers, and rendered successful service in the cause of 
God and truth, the effect of which is still felt in our Baptist 


CHAPTER IV.— 1711-1720. 


FEBRUARY 14th, 17 II, there was another welcome 
arrival on our shores — Rev. Abel Morgan. He was 
born in Wales in 1673. At the age of nineteen he began to 
preach the gospel, and in 1696 he was ordained. Highly 
esteemed by his church, it was a great trial to part with him 
for America. His voyage was a tedious and trying one. 
He was eleven weeks on the Atlantic Ocean, and twenty-two 
weeks in the vessel, as it was compelled to seek harbor twice 
before reaching its destination. On the journey his little 
boy died, and also his beloved wife. Their bodies were 
both committed to the deep. He was called to take the 
leading care of the church at Pennypack, which he accepted, 
and preached alternately there and in Philadelphia. He 
was a brother to Enoch Morgan, the third pastor of Welsh 
Tract, and a half brother to Benjamin Griffith, of Mont- 

In the settlement of Philadelphia, there were persons of 
different nationalities and of every variety of temperament 
and opinion. It was not surprising, therefore, to find in 
church life, as we have already seen, much that was hetero- 
dox as well as much that was true. The church in Phila- 
delphia was not to be exempt in this variety of opinion, as 
we learn from Morgan Edwards. He says : — 

This church experienced a painful division in 1711, occasioned by 
the turbulent spirit of an Irish preacher, who was among them, along 
with Mr. Burrows. His name was Thomas Selby. When he had 
formed a party, he shut Mr. Burrows and his friends out of the 
meeting-house, who, henceforth, met at Mr. Burrows' house, in 


Chestnut street. This was the situation of affairs when Mr. Abel 
Morgan arrived in 171 1. But his presence soon healed the breach, 
and obliged Shelby to quit the town, which he did in 17 13, and went 
to Carolina, and there he died, the same year, but not before he had 
occasioned much disturbance. 

The Mr, Burrows referred to in the above was a Rev. 
John Burrows. He was a native of Taunton, in England, 
where he was ordained. In 17 1 3 he became pastor of the 
Baptist Church of Middletown, New Jersey, where he main- 
tained a successful ministry through a long life, and where 
he died in a good old age. 

At the meeting of the Association in 18 12, the disturb- 
ance caused by Thomas Selby was brought up and referred 
to a committee for adjustment, to which arrangement both 
parties consented. After a careful and thorough examina- 
tion of all the facts, the committee reported as follows : — 

With respect to the difference between the members and others, 
some time belonging to the Baptist church at Philadelphia, as it hath 
been laid before us, persons chosen by both sides, they having referred 
the whole of their difference to our determination ; we, doing what in 
us lies for the glory of God, and the peace of the whole church, in 
regard of the transactions past, and what may be best for the future, 
for the interest of the gospel, upon due consideration of what hath been 
laid before us, as followeth, viz. : We do find the >way and manner of 
dealing and proceeding with each other hath been from the rule of 
the gospel, and unbecoming Christians in many respects, and in some 
too shameful here to enumerate the particulars. 

And first, we judge it expedient in point of justice, that Mr. 
Thomas Selby be paid the money subscribed to him by the members 
of this church, and be discharged from any further service in the work 
of the ministry; he being a person, in our judgment, not likely for 
the promotion of the gospel in these parts of the country ; and, con- 
sidering his miscarriages, we judge he may not be allowed to com- 

And secondly, as to the members of this congregation, we do 
apprehend the best way is, that each part offended do freely forgive 
each other all personal and other offences that may have arisen on 
this occasion, and that they be buried in oblivion; and that those who 
shall for future mention or stir up any of the former differences so as 
to tend to contention, shall be deemed disorderly persons, and be 
dealt with as such. 


And thirdly, that those that exempted themselves from their com- 
munion on this account, except as above, be allowed to take their 
places orderly without contention, and such as refuse to be deemed 
disorderly persons. 

Signed — Timothy Brooks, Thomas Shepherd, Thomas Abbott, 
John Drake, Nicolas Jonson, Dickason Shepherd, Job Shepherd, 
James Bollen, Samuel Jones, John Hart, John Bray. 

Let it be noted, say the Century Minutes of the Association, that 
the said Thomas Selby, though he and his party referred as above 
said, yet he appeared afterwards very outrageous while he stayed in 
the province, and some of his adherents joined to other denomina- 
tions, and never returned to seek their place in the church, and the 
church did accordingly exclude them. But the greatest part took 
their places personally. 

From the year 17 12 to the year 1720, though the 
churches maintained a yearly Association, yet there are no 
minutes of said meetings. Probably, during those years 
there was nothing of special importance brought before 
the Philadelphia Association. In the meantime several 
clergymen of our denomination, from different parts of 
Great Britain, were constantly arriving in Philadelphia. 
These located in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, 
and did good service in the work of the Lord. 

Among the early Baptist churches in this vicinity, for 
many years, was the office of Ruling Elder's. The record 
book of the Pennypack Church, under date of June 19th, 
17 1 5, says : "A proposal was made for having Ruling Elders 
in the church; bft to consideration till next Quarterly 
Meeting." That they had such officers down to 1763, is 
proven in the subsequent Minutes of the church. 

In 17 1 8, Richard Sparks, carpenter, who owned a lot of 
ground at the southeast corner of Market and Fifth streets, 
made the following devise of a lot for a burial ground for 
Seventh-Day Baptists : — 

I do hereby devise one hundred feet of the back end of my lot on 
the south side of High street, in Philadelphia, for a burying place for 
the use of the people or society called the Seventh-Day Baptists, for- 


ever, in which said piece of ground I desire to be buried, my wife 
having the use of it during her natural hfe. 

It is probable this one hundred feet, being on Fifth 
street, was used for burial purposes. There yet remains a 
very small part of this lot, which is walled in on Fifth street 
between the two wings of the Eastern Market House. In- 
side this enclosure, concealed from the street, is a marble 
tablet, with the following inscription : — 

This monument erected A. D. 1829, by the Trustees of the First 
Congregation of Seventh-Day Baptists, residing in the township of 
Hopewell, in the county of Cumberland, West New Jersey, and the 
Trustees of the Seventh-Day Baptist Church of Christ, in Piscataway, 
East New Jersey, to perpetuate the memory of Richard Sparks, who, 
in his testament and last will, gave and devised this lot for a burying 
ground for the use of the Society of Seventh-Day Baptists, and was 
himself interred therein, A. D. 1716, agreeably to his request in said 
will, with several other ancestors and relatives of members of the said 
societies, who were laid within twenty-five feet of the north end of 
the same. 

A number of names follow this inscription, being those 
of the persons who erected the tablet. 

The County of Montgomery, in Pennsylvania, was not 
formed until 1789; up to that time it was a part of Phila- 
delphia County: the Montgomery Baptist Church, therefore, 
belongs to this history up to the separate organization of 
the county in which it is located. The first Baptist settlers 
in Montgomery were John Evans and Sarah his wife. They 
were members of a Baptist Church in Wales, and came here 
in 1 7 10. The next year John James and Elizabeth his wife, 
from the same Principality, joined them. They were visited 
by Rev. Abel Morgan occasionally, who preached the word 
to all who came to hear, at the house of Mr. Evans. God's 
blessing attended these visits, and Mr. Morgan was per- 
mitted to baptize several persons. They were at length 
advised either to unite with the church at Pennypack, or 
else establish one in their own neighborhood. Not being 



familiar with the Eiighsh language, and that church so dis- 
tant, they concluded it was best they should organize one 
by themselves. Mr. Morgan approved this step, and on 
June 20th, 17 19, they were constituted as a distinct Baptist 


Church, with nine or ten members. Revs. Abel Morgan 
and -Samuel Jones were present to assist and direct in the 
work. The following is the interesting account of the pro- 
ceedings as given in the Century Minutes of the" Philadel- 
phia Association*: — 

The first part of the day was spent in fasting and prayer, with a 
sermon preached by Mr. Morgan, suitable to the occasion. Being 
asked whether they were desirous and freely willing to settle together 
as a church of Jesus Christ, they all answered in the affirmative ; and 
being asked whether they were acquainted with one another's princi- 
ples, and satisfied with one another's graces and conversation, it was 
also answered in the affirmative ; and then for a demonstration of their 
giving themselves up, severally and jointly to the Lord, as a people 
of God and a church of Jesus Christ, they all lifted up their right 

* Page 19. 


hand. Then were they directed to take one another by the hand, in 
token of their union, declaring at the same time that as they had 
given themselves to God, so they did give themselves also to one 
another by the will of God, (2 Cor. viii. 5), to be a church according to 
the gospel ; to worship God and to maintain the doctrines of the 
gospel, according to their ability, and to edify one another. Then 
were they pronounced and declared to be a church of Jesus Christ; 
a right hand of fellowship was given to them as a sister church, with 
exhortations and instructions suitable to the station and relation they 
now stood in ; and the whole was finished with solemn prayer to God 
for a blessing on the work of the day. 

Mr. Morgan visited them from time to time, and admin- 
istered the ordinances among them. Elisha Thomas, of 
Welsh Tract, and other ministering brethren also preached 
to them as they had opportunity. All the early ministers 
of our denomination in this vicinity were eminently mis- 
sionary in their character, hence, like the primitive disciples, 
they went everywhere preaching the word. 

William Thomas and John James, members at Mont- 
gomery, by the constant exercise of their ^ifts, gave evi- 
dence of ability to preach the word, and were thus occupied 
frequently. The history of Mr. Thomas is of interest, and 
is thus given by the late Rev. Joseph Mathias, of Hilltown, 
whose praise is in all the older churches of this region : — 

He arrived in this country about 17 12, being entirely destitute of 
all worldly means, and in debt for all the expenses of the passage of 
himself and family ; notwithstanding, when he left his native place, 
he was possessed of ample means to plant himself in circumstances 
of affluence in his new location. This calamity befell him in conse- 
quence of a most flagrant act of misconduct on the part of the com- 
mander of the vessel, in which his property was shipped, who sailed 
before the time set for him to come on board. He took passage on 
credit as early as possible, but on his arrival he had the mortification 
to find the captain had absconded, and all was lost ; and to add to his 
grief and vexation, he identified his goods and clothes, etc., in the 
possession of new owners, which could never be recovered. 

But being a man of energy, robust in person, and of great decision 
of character, he at once applied himself to industrious efforts, as 
many others in similar circumstances have done, and in process of 
time became a man of large possessions in lands in different places. 


He built a meeting-house at his own experse, in which, for a number 
of years, he officiated in the ministry, and now, with many of his 
family, reposes in his own graveyard in Hilltown, where a suitable 
monument is erected to his memory. 

I must record here the arrival in this city of another 
branch of the Baptist family. In the fall of the year 1 7 19, 
about twenty families of the Tunkers, from Germany landed 
in Philadelphia, some of whom settled in Germantown, 
Morgan Edwards says of them, that they — 

Are commonly called Tunkers, to distinguish them from the 
Mennonists, for both are styled Baptists. They are called Tunkers in 
derision, which is as much as ''sops," from tunken, to put a morsel 
in sauce ; but as the term signifies dippers, they may rest content 
with their nickname. They are also called Ttcmblers, from the man- 
ner in which they perform baptism, which is by putting the person 
head-forward under water (while kneeling), so as to resemble the 
motion of the body in the act of tumbling. 

There being no minutes extant of the Philadelphia As- 
sociation for this decade, save for one year, the materials for 
historical purposes are very meagre. Yet, from cotempo- 
rary history we are assured that the Baptists of this city 
were not unmindful of, nor disinterested in the important 
events transpiring about them. They rejoiced in the exten- 
sion of Christ's kingdom in the regions beyond, in the 
organization, in 17 1 5, of the first Baptist Church in Dela- 
ware county — at Brandywine. With others of this city, 
they mourned the death of William Penn, which took place 
at Rushcomb, England, July 30th, 17 18. For the founder 
of Pennsylvania they ever had a profound regard, and to 
the last were among his loyal friends. 


CHAPTER v.— 1721-1730. 


IN the year 1722 two of the pastors of the Pennypack 
Church died, Samuel Jones, on the 3d of February, and 
Abel Morgan, on the i6th of December. The first was 
interred at Pennypack and the latter in the graveyard ad- 
joining the church in Philadelphia. In addition to the lot 
which Mr. Jones gave to the church, he also bequeathed to 
it for the use of the pastor several valuable books. Abel 
Morgan was a man of large influence, good judgment, and 
very firm in his adhesion to, and declaration of the doctrines 
of the Bible. He prepared a Concordance of the Holy 
Scriptures in the Welsh language, but did not live to see it 
published. It was, however, issued in 1730, with an Intro- 
duction by his brother, Enoch Morgan. He also prepared 
a Confession of Faith in Welsh, which was printed. In the 
fiftieth year of his age, after having faithfully preached Jesus 
for thirty years, the Lord called him home. His death was 
probably sudden, as in that year, at the meeting of the Asso- 
ciation " it was proposed for the churches to make inquiry 
among themselves, if they have any young persons hopeful 
for the ministry and inclinable for learning ; and if they 
have, to give notice of it to Mr. Abel Morgan before the 


1st of November, that he may recommend such to the Acad- 
emy on Mr. Holhs, his account." 

We know not but this is the first record among Ameri- 
can Baptists looking to an educated Ministry. Mr. Thomas 
Hollis, here referred to, was a Baptist in London, England. 
He was a most liberal benefactor of Harvard Colleee, in 
Cambridge, near Boston. In that institution he founded 
two professorships, one of Divinity and the other of Mathe- 
matics. He also presented a valuable apparatus for mathe- 
matical and philosophical experiments, and at different times 
augmented the library with many valuable books. In 1727, 
the net production of his donation, exclusive of gifts not 
vendible, amounted to four thousand nine hundred pounds, 
the interest of which he directed to be appropriated to the 
support of the two professors, to the Treasurer of the 
College, and to ten poor students, in divinity of suitable 
qualifications. It might be an interesting question for 
American Baptists to ask the Corporation of Harvard Col- 
lege what has become of this money. 

At the time of the death of Samuel Jones and Abel 
Morgan, both of whom participated in the services connected 
with the constitution of the Montgomery Church, that body 
had so increased in number and in gifts that they called 
John James, David Evans, Benjamin Griffith and Joseph 
Eaton to exercise their talents with a view to the ministry. 
All of these were born in Wales. 

The churches of that day were very desirous that the 
services of the Lord's house should be conducted with proper 
decorum, and very careful respecting the admission to their 
churches and their pulpits of men from abroad. This was 
illustrated at the Association convened Sept. 23, 1723, by 
an agreement then made, and by a query from the church 
at Brandywine, as to how "they might improve their vacant 


days of worship, when they have no minister among them 
to carry on the pubHc work?" 

Solution. — We conceive it expedient that the church do meet to- 
gether as often as conveniency will admit ; and when they have none 
to carry on the work of preaching, that they read a chapter, sing a 
psalm, and go to prayer and beg of God to increase their grace and 
comfort, and have due regard to order and decency in the exercise of 
those gifted at all times, and not to suffer any to exercise their gifts 
in a mixed multitude until tried and approved of first by the church. 

Agreed that the proposal drawn by the several ministers, and 
signed by many others, in reference to the examination of all gifted 
brethren and ministers that come in here from other places, be duly 
put in practice, we having found the evil of neglecting a true and 
previous scrutiny in those affairs. 

At the next meeting of this body, in 1724, it was queried 
" concerning the fourth commandment, whether changed, 
altered or diminished?" The Association answered by 
referring to the article on the Sabbath, in the Confession of 
Faith as set forth by the messengers met in London, in 
1679. That article is very plain and decided relative to the 
strict observance of the Lord's day in the worship of God. 

It was further asked at the same meeting, "Whether a 
believer may marry an unbeliever, without coming under 
church censure for it ?" and was answered in the negative. 
A query was also presented, " Whether an officer in the 
church who forfeits his office, forfeits his membership ? " 
Answered in the negative. But if he forfeits his member- 
ship, he forfeits his office. Whether he, if restored to his 
membership, must also be restored to office, is another case 
not here considered. 

The propriety of this answer is apparent. If a minister 
or a deacon be excluded from a church, the exclusion ne- 
cessarily carries with it deposition from the ministry and 
from the deaconship. There can be no recognized official 
standing in the ministry, when there is none in the church. 

It was further " concluded and agreed," in connection 


With the above query and answer, " That a church ought to 
be unanimous in giving their voice in choosing and setting 
up, or deposing one set up, to act in any church office, or 
to act as an officer in the church. Any act of that nature, 
commenced without common consent, is void, and hath no 
power in it." 

At this session of the Association we have the first re- 
ference to letters from the churches, and the authority for 
the character of their contents, and, perhaps, for the length 
they have since attained in some quarters. It was then 

Concluded that the letters from the churches to the Association, 
hereafter, may contain salutations, comtemplations, congratulations, 
etc., in one page, and the complaints, queries or grievances, etc., be 
written apart ; for it is agreed that the former shall be read publicly 
the first day of the Association's meeting, and the latter, the church's 
doubts, fears or disorders, etc., be opened and read to the Association 

It is evident from the last part of the above that the 
Philadelphia Baptist Association transacted some of their 
business, in those days, with closed doors. 

By Dec. 25, 1723, the Tunkers had so increased in Ger- 
mantown that on that day they organized themselves into a 
church, which is still extant and vigorous. 

As already stated, the church in Philadelphia had no 
settled minister among them; being regarded as a branch 
of Pennypack, the pastors of the latter supplied them with 
preaching. "They did, indeed," says Mr. Edwards, *' in 1723, 
choose George Eaglesfield to preach to them, contrary to 
the sense of the church at Pennypack; but in 1725 he left 
them and went to Middletown," and preached to the church 
there until his death. 

Benjamin Griffith was ordained to the gospel ministry, 
Oct. 23, 1725, and became the first pastor of the church at 
Montgomery, of which, for several years, he had been an 
exemplary and earnest member. Revs. Elisha Thomas and 


Jenkin Jones assisted in the services of ordination. In view 
of a recent claim in Wales, that the above is an ancestor 
of the Rev. Benjamin Grifiith, D. D., at present the honored 
and successful Secretary of the American Baptist Publica- 
tion Society, we deem it proper to state that the claim is 
without foundation. 

This church was soon called to receive members who 
had been dismissed under peculiar circumstances, as the 
following query from them to the Association, in 1726, in- 
timates : — 

In case there might be a division, and on the division a rent and 
separation follow in any church in Great Britain, and each party com- 
bining together in church form, each being sound in the faith, and 
during the separation both parties recommend members unto us here, 
as in full communion with them, how may the churches here proceed 
in such a case ? 

Answer. — We do advise that the churches here may take no further 
notice of the letters by such persons brought here, than to satisfy 
themselves that such are baptized persons, and of a regular conversa- 
tion, and to take such into church covenant as if they had not been 
members of any church before. 

We come now to the settlement of Rev. Jenkin Jones in 
the pastorate of the Pennypack Church, which occurred 
June 17, 1726. He was born in Wales in 1696, and came 
to this country in 17 10. He does not seem to have been a 
member of a church when he left Wales. He was called to 
the ministry in Welsh Tract in 1724, and removed to Phila- 
delphia in 1725. 

William Kinnersley was an assistant to Mr. Jones, at 
Pennypack, in connection with Rev. Joseph Wood, already 
mentioned. Mr. Kinnersley was born in Leominster, Eng- 
land, in 1669. He came to America Sept. 12, 17 14, and 
was never ordained. Oct. 24, 1727, Joseph Eaton was or- 
dained to the gospel ministry at Montgomery, and became 
the assistant to the pastor, Benjamin Griffith, who, with 
Rev. Elisha Thomas, participated in the ordination services. 


This church presented a practical query to the Associa- 
tion, in 1728, "Whether a church is bound to grant a letter 
of dismission to any member to go to another church, while 
his residence is not removed?" Answered in the negative, 
"we having neither precept nor precedent for such a practice 
in Scripture." 

How the subject of laying on of hands was regarded at 
this time may be learned from a query presented by the 
branch church at Philadelphia, to the Association, in 1729, 
" Suppose a gifted brother, who is esteemed an orderly min- 
ister by or among those that are against the laying on of 
hands in any respect, should happen to come amongst our 
church, whether we may allow such an one to administer 
the ordinance of baptism and the Lord's Supper, or no ? " 
Answered in the negative ; " because it is contrary to the 
rule of God's word; see Acts xiii : 2, 3, and xiv : 23, com- 
pared with Titus i : 5, and Tim. iv : 14, from which prescribed 
rules we dare not swerve." This year arrangements were 
made for opening up a fraternal correspondence between the 
Association and prominent Baptists in London. 

It was customary on the part of the Association to send 
back to the churches a short circular letter containing a 
general statement of the meeting that had been held, and 
urging to faithfulness to Christ, to the church, and in de- 
veloping any special matter of great importance. The first 
of these we have given us was in 1729. It is as follows : — 

The elders and messengers of the baptized congregations in Penn- 
sylvania and the Jerseys, met at Philadelphia, Sept. 27th and 28th, 
1729, in a solemn Association, sendeth greeting : 

Dearly beloved brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ-. We heartily 
rejoice to see your care, diligence, requests and desires, on our own 
behalf, at the throne of grace ; and also your care and diligence in 
maintiining our yearly correspondence and communion in the gospel. 
We, your representatives met together in love, perused your letters 
and gladly received your messengers. We find cause to rejoice that 
God has crowned the labors of his ministers with such success. There 


have been considerable additions the past year, in several churches, 
and some in most. Praise be rendered to our gracious God, we find 
the churches generally to be at peace and unity among themselves. 
We think it expedient to give you an account of our proceedings. 
We conferred together, without any jars or contentions in our de- 
bates ; our souls have been refreshed, hearing of the welfare of the 
churches in general ; also in hearing the sweet and comfortable truths 
of the gospel declared among us by the faithful labors of our minister- 
ing brethren, which we hope is to the glory of God and the good of 
souls. We earnestly desire you to walk worthy of your holy vocation, 
standing fast and striving together for the faith of the gospel. It is 
the general complaint of many that there is much lukewarmness and 
deadness in matters of religion, which we hope is not a mere compli- 
ment, but rather the grief of the churches. In order to remedy this 
soul distemper, our advice and desire is that you be diligent to keep 
your places in the house of God ; be frequent and instant in prayer, 
both in secret and in public ; strive after the life and power of religion ; 
make religion your earnest business ; keep your garments undefiled 
from the world ; walk as becomes saints before God and men ; improve 
your opportunities in all religious duties, both among your families 
and in the church. Stand fast for the defending and maintaining of 
the ordinances of Christ ; wait on God in them, that you may reap 
the benefits of Christ by them. Strive to keep together, maintaining 
the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace ; always resisting the 
assaults of Satan, who waiteth opportunities to disturb the peace of 
God's children. Be careful that you do nothing that may tend to 
breed disturbances in the church of God. 

From this excellent epistle, the first of the kind extant in 
this country, has sprung the various styles of circular letters 
now furnished in our different Associational meetings. All 
those of the Philadelphia Association would, if gathered 
together, furnish a valuable, interesting and profitable book. 
In 1729, for the first time, the names of the messengers 
(twenty-two in all) to the Association appear. They are as 
follows : — 

Jno. David, Ben Stelle, Owen Thomas, Geo. Hugh, Gershom 
Mott, Joseph Eaton, Jno. Devonald, John Welledge, Wm. Kinnersley, 
Samuel Osgood, John Clarkson, John Holmes, Jeremiah Kollet, John 
Bartholomew, John Heart, Robert Chalfant, Elisha Thomas, George 
Eaton, Dickison Shephard, Jenkin Jones, Ebenezer Smith, Simon 


A century and a half has passed away since these names 
were registered. Most of them are now strange in our 
Baptist Zion, but others are yet quite famiHar. Descendants 
of these honored men are still identified with God's Israel, 
and worthily working for that cause so dear to the fathers. 


CHAPTER VI.— 1731-1740. 


WITH the constant growth of Philadelphia, and the 
corresponding progress of the Baptist congrega- 
tion, a larger and more attractive meeting-house was needed, 
hence the old frame structure, which had stood for nearly 
forty years, was taken down, and in 173 1, on the same spot, 
a neat bfick building was erected. This was 42 by 30 
feet. To build this edifice was a great burden upon them, 
as they informed the Association that year " that they have 
been at a great charge in building a meetinghouse, which is 
to be very heavy, unless the rest of the churches of the 
same order will find it in their hearts to contribute towards 
the defraying of the same." 

The scrupulous regard of Baptists for the rights of con- 
science and religious liberty were exerting a good influence. 
The position taken by John Holme, the Baptist magistrate, 
in 1692, relative to religious disputes, had not been forgotten, 
and the members of the denomination maintained that all, 
of every creed, should freely maintain their religious belief, 
and enjoy that liberty which was guaranteed to them 
by the Charter of Pennsylvania, This was their position 
in 1733, when a few families of the Roman Catholic faith, 
had arrived and erected a small chapel in Philadelphia. 
The colonial officers were alarmed at this movement, and 
Governor Gordon brought the matter before the Council, 


and informed them that '* a house had been lately built on 
Walnut street, in Philadelphia, wherein mass was openly- 
celebrated by a Catholic priest, contrary to the laws of Eng- 
land." The citizens of the Baptist persuasion and others 
claimed that Catholics and all other sects were protected by 
the laws which had been established by William Penn, and 
that all were equally entitled to religious liberty. The 
Council, therefore, wisely refrained from any interference. 

In January, 173 1, the Assembly of Pennsylvania had a 
bill before it, enabling religious societies to purchase lands 
for churches, meeting-houses and the like. The members 
of Christ Church took exception to this bill as it would 
injure the right which they considered certain of their 
number possessed in the lot on which the Baptist meeting- 
house stood. But the bill passed. The Christ Church peo- 
ple then tried to induce the Governor to withhold his signa- 
ture from the bill. This opposition was really aroused be- 
cause the Baptists, who had held their property for twenty- 
six years, still claimed it. The Keithians had conveyed 
the lot to Thomas Budd, Thomas Peart, Ralph Ward and 
James Poulter, in fee, to hold it for the Christian Quakers, 
for a meeting-house, and for such use or uses as the major 
part of them should appoint, allow or approve of. It was 
averred by the Episcopalians that a majority of the Keithians 
became members of Christ Church, particularly Thomas 
Peart and Ralph Ward, and that they had been granted the 
use of the Keithian meeting-house. The Baptists replied 
that they had occupied the property by invitation of the 
Keithians for twenty-six years, and that the Keithians had 
become Baptists. As to the occupancy of the property by 
Christ Church, the Baptists said. 

Before the Church of England had any public place of worship, 
the Society (Keithians or Christian Quakers) did, at their request, 
grant to the said church the use of the house and lot, now in contro- 


versy, between the hours of twelve and three, on each Sunday, the 
said Society themselves assembhng there at other hours, both before 
and after, in the same day. This permission graciously given could 
not by any ingenuity be tortured into a conveyance of the title to the 

In 1733, Thomas Peart, the only surviving trustee, deeded 
the property to Christ Church for charitable purposes. 

"In 1734," says Mr. Edwards, '^an incident occurred 
that hke to have deprived the church both of their house 
and lot ; for then one Thomas Peart died, after having made 
a conveyance of the premises to the Church of England. 
The vestry demanded possession, but the Baptists refused, 
and a lawsuit commenced, which brought the matter to a 
hearing before the Assembly. The Episcopalians being 
discouraged offered to give up the claim for ^^50. The 
offer was accepted and contention ceased." 

On the 13th of February, 1734, William Kinnersley, an 
assistant minister at Pennypack, died. He was the father 
of Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley, hereafter to be mentioned. 

In the year 1 737 there arrived in this city, with his 
parents, a little boy only two years of age. His name was 
Samuel Jones. Probably no one was then impressed with 
the possibilities that were wrapt up in the future of that 
lad, as, for the first time, he placed his feet on the 
wharf at Philadelphia. But, before his death, at Lower 
Dublin, in 1814, he rose to distinction and great usefulness, 
as will be seen. In the same year another Samuel appeared 
in this city, who was destined to equal renown. He was 
born here on the 27th of February, spent the early part of 
his life here, and in this, his native city, was married to a 
Miss Morgan. Entering the ministry, he frequently visited 
Philadelphia, but the scene of his greatest efficiency was in 
Boston. I refer to Rev. Samuel Stillman, D. D. 

On Saturday, November 2d, 1739, Rev. George White- 
field arrived in Philadelphia. In his diary for the following 


Monday is this record : *' Was visited in the afternoon by 
the Presbyterian minister. Went afterwards to see the Bap- 
tist minister, who seems to be a spiritual man." The next 
day both of these ministers visited Whitefield. Rev. Jenkin 
Jones was the Baptist minister referred to, and the reference 
of the renowned and godly Whitefield to the spirituality of 
the man is a worthy compliment to one of the ablest and 
most useful of the early Baptists of this city. 

A variety of questions were each year presented to the 
Association, some of them very practical and others, at this 
day, seem without point, yet when presented were doubtless 
regarded as important. By the year 1735, many in the 
Association awoke to the importance of keeping a regular 
record of the proceedings of that body. An effort was 
made to secure a minute book, and to elect a clerk and an 
assistant, but the matter failed. There were those then, as 
now, who could not see the importance of keeping such a 

Realizing the necessity of catechetical instruction, the 
Association, in 1738, 

Agreed, that since the catechisms are expended, and a few or none 
to be had, and our youth thereby not Hkely to be instructed in the 
fundaments of saving knowledge, that the several congregations we 
represent should consult amongst themselves what they can raise of 
money for so good a design, and send, against the ist of May next, 
by their letters, to Mr. Jenkin Jones or John Holme, in Philadelphia, 
that they may know what number to draw out of press. 

The entire number of persons baptized in this city, dur- 
ing this decade, in connection with the Baptist churches, 
was only fifty-six. The town was comparatively small, the 
people very much scattered, and the growth of the denomi- 
nation slow, yet in that very slowness enterprises were in- 
augurated, principles maintained and beginnings made, 
which have contributed towards the subsequent permanence 
and growth of the churches here and elsewhere. 


CHAPTER VIL— 1741-1750. 


IN 1742 the Philadelphia Baptist Association adopted 
the Confession of Faith, set forth by the messengers of 
baptized congregations, met in London in 1689 ; a short 
treatise on Church Discipline; an article concerning the 
singing of psalms in the worship of God, and one relative 
to the laying on of hands upon baptized believers. These 
were printed in one volume by Benjamin Franklin, in 1743. 
A few copies of this issue are still extant, but they are in 
the hands of private parties. Subsequent editions were 
issued in 1773, 1798 and 1831. 

The subjects of the various articles in the Confession of 
Faith, as published in 1742, are in the following order : — 
Holy Scriptures; God and the Holy Trinity; God's De- 
crees ; Divine Providence ; Fall of Man ; Sin and Punish- 
ment Thereof; God's Covenant; Christ the Mediator; Free 
Will; Effectual Calling; Justification; Adoption; Sancti- 
fication ; Saving Faith ; Repentance Unto Life and Salva- 
tion ; Good Works ; Perseverance of the Saints ; Assurance 
of Grace and Salvation ; the Law of God ; the Gospel and 
the Extent of the Grace Thereof; Christian Liberty and 
Liberty of Conscience ; Religious Worship and the Sabbath- 


day ; Singing of Psalms in Public Worship ; Lawful Oaths 
and Vows; the Civil Magistrate; Marriage; the Church; 
the Communion of Saints; Baptism and the Lord's Supper; 
Baptism ; Laying on of Hands ; State of Man After Death, 
and the Resurrection of the Dead ; the Last Judgment. 
In all thirty-four articles. 

The treatise on Church Discipline has articles on — a 
True and Orderly Church ; Ministers, &c.; Ruling Elders ; 
Deacons; Admission of Church Members; Duties of Church 
Members; the Manifold Duties of Christians, especially to 
the Household of Faith; Church Censures — Admonition — 
Suspension — Excommunication. 

In 1743, Ebenezer Kinnersley was ordained to the work 
of the gospel ministry. He was born in Gloucester, Eng- 
land, November 30, 171 1. In 17 14 his father removed to 
America and settled near the Pennypack Church. On the 
6th of September, 1735, young Kinnersley was baptized 
and became a member of that church. Hon. Horatio Gates 
Jones, in his History of Lower Dublin Baptist Church, 
says of him: — 

Owing to delicate health and other objects of interest that engaged 
his attention, he never became a pastor. He was one of the few, in 
Philadelphia, who had doubts in regard to the character of the 
preaching which was introduced by Whitefield ; nor did he hesitate 
to enter a solemn protest against it from the pulpit of the Baptist 
church. This happened on the 6th of July, 1740, and the excitement 
l)roduced by the sermon was so great that he was absolutely forbidden 
the privilege of the Communion. For some time he attended the 
Episcopal church, but ere long the difficulty was settled, and when 
the Philadelphia Church was organized as a distinct society from that 
at Pennypack, he was one of the constituent members, and remained 
connected with it to his death. The year 1746 marked an epoch in 
his life ; for his attention was then first directed to the wonderful and 
unknown properties of the Electric Fire, as it was then termed. 

He became an intimate companion of Benjamin Frank- 
lin, and one of the most remarkable scientists of his day. 

JOSEPH Eaton's defection. 69 

In the year 1744 a difficulty occurred at Montgomery. 
Rev. Joseph Eaton rejected the Hteral sense of the eternal 
generation and sonship of Jesus Christ. The brethren of 
the ministry labored with him in a Christian spirit, and at 
the meeting of the Association he dismissed his skepticism 
on the subject, so that what threatened to be a serious 
matter was speedily healed, and this great and all-important 
doctrine not only firmly believed in but also faithfully pro- 

The year which witnessed Kinnersley's attention first 
directed to the properties of electricity was signalized by 
the distinct organization of the First Baptist Church. Having 
been regarded as a branch of Pennypack, a question arose 
whether said church was not entitled to a part of the legacies 
bestowed on the branch in Philadelphia. This was a ground- 
less question, but for fear the design of their benefactors 
should be perverted, the church, then consisting of fifty- six 
members, was formally constituted May 15, 1746. Letters 
of dismission for this purpose had been granted by Penny- 
pack on the 3d of May. Having had, and exercised in 
reality, all the functions of a church from the first establish- 
ment in 1698, that year is certainly the proper one to date 
the commencement of their history. Rev. Jenkin Jones 
now severed his connection as pastor of the mother church 
and became the first pastor of the one in Philadelphia. 

The account of the above transaction is given in the 
records of the parent church, as follows : — 

April 5, 1746 ; the members of the church at Pennypack, residing 
at the city of Philadelphia, petitioned to the monthly meeting at 
Pennypack for a separation for themselves and for Mr. Jenkin Jones, 
the pastor of the church, also (his residence being among them), to 
answer which the church at Pennypack took a month to consider. 

May 3, 1746; the church at Pennypack having considered their 
brethren's reasons for a separation, and finding them to be of weight, 
a dismission was granted, and they were soon after constituted and 
settled a regular gospel church, and their messengers were received 
at the next annual Association at Philadelphia. 



The names Oi^ the constituent members were : Jenkin 
Jones, Ebenezer Kinnersley, William Branson, Andrew 
Edge, Thomas Pearse, Stephen Anthony, Augustus Still- 
man, Samuel Ashmead, Matthias Ingles, John Perkins, John 
Standeland, Robert Shewell, John Biddle, Joseph Crean, 
Henr>' Hartley, John Lewis, Joseph Ingles, Samuel Burkilo, 
John Catla, Thomas Byles, John Bazely, Samuel Morgan, 
Lewis Rees, Mary Standeland, Hannah Farmer, Mary 
Catla, Ann Yerkes, Mary Burkilo, Mary Prig, Hannah 
Crean, Ann Davis, Hannah Bazely, Jane Giffin, Edith 
Bazely, Uslaw Lewis, Jane Loxley, Esther Ashmead, Han- 
nah Jones, Sarah Branson, Catherine Anthony, Jane Pearse, 
Mary Edge, Mary Valecot, Elizabeth Shewell, Mary Middle- 
ton, Frances Holwell, Elizabeth Sallows, Mary Morgan, 
Ann Hall, Phebe Hartley, Ann White. 


As already intimated, the pastors of the Pennypack 
church were accustomed to preach in all the region round 
about, and one of their stations was at Southampton, in 
Bucks county. Here the favor of God had been so manifest 


that, in three days after the dismission to reconstitute the 
church in Philadelphia, forty-eight members, all from Penny- 
pack, were organized, April 8, 1746, into the Southampton 
Baptist Church. Religious services had been held there for 
many years, for John Morris, a member oi Pennypack, who 
died February 22, 1733, aged 83 years, gave the ground for 
the meeting-house at Southampton and a farm of one hun- 
dred and twenty-five acres for the minister's use. This 
church was at once received into the Philadelphia Associa- 
tion and remained connected with that body for eighty-eight 
years. Those eminent ministers, Isaac Eaton and Oliver 
Hart, were originally members of this church. The removal 
of these one hundred and four members from Pennypack 
to constitute the two churches named, diminished the 
number who remained very considerably. 

They at once took measures, however, to be supplied 
with preaching. George Eaton and Peter Peterson Vanhorn 
had already been called to exercise their gifts. A vote was 
taken by ballot, relative to their ordination, beginning with 
the former, as he was the elder, but he was not chosen, 
greatly to his mortification. The matter was then deferred, 
and Rev. Jenkin Jones continued to visit them once a month 
and administer the ordinances. At the request of Mr. 
Eaton another vote on his case was taken April 16, 1747. 
This time it was by rising and not by ballot. He was again 
rejected, but on the same day Mr. Vanhorn was elected, 
and he was ordained to the work of the ministry among 
them June 18, 1747. Revs. Jenkin Jones, Benjamin Griffith, 
John Davis and Joshua Potts participated in the services. 
Mr. Vanhorn was born at Middletown, in Bucks county, 
August 24th, 1 7 19, and assumed the pastoral care of Penny- 
pack October 31, 1747. It is possible that Mr. Vanhorn 
extended his labors, occasionally, over to Roxborough, 
twelve miles westward of his own church, as on May 16, 


175 1, he officiated at the marriage of William Levering of 
that place. Mr. Levering was a brother of Abraham Lever- 
ing, who became a constituent member of the Roxborough 
Church, and its first deacon. In 1754 it is known that Mr. 
Vanhorn preached in Roxborough. 

Thirty-nine years of the Associatipn's history had now 
passed away, yet there had been no attempt to keep regular 
records of its doings, nor had any history of the denomina- 
tion in this vicmity been written. Awaking to the im- 
portance of such records, the Association, in 1746, " Con- 
cluded, that Brother Benjamin Griffith should collect and 
set in order the accounts of the several Baptist churches in 
these provinces ; and that the several churches should draw 
out and send him, as soon as possible, what accounts they 
have on record in church books of their respective consti- 
tutions, and by whose ministry they have been supplied.^' 
He performed this duty faithfully, and the work begun by 
him, when the Minutes of the Association were not printed, 
is preserved in a large folio volume, the greater part of 
which forms the first eighty pages of the Century Minutes 
of the Association. But for his valuable labors in this 
direction the early history of the Association might not 
now be obtained. In 1749 he prepared and read an essay 
on **The Power and Duty of an Association," which the 
Association directed to be recorded in their folio volume. 

September 15, 1747, Rev. Joseph Wood, the fifth pastor 
at Pennypack, passed away from earth, at the advanced age 
of eighty-eight years. He was buried at Cold Spring, 
Bucks county. No vestige of his grave now remains, but 
in the resurrection those who sleep in Jesus will God bring 
with him. 

The year after his death this church had considerable 
trouble about its property. It had been deeded to certain 
trustees, all of whom were dead, except George Eaton, who 

moderator's name first given. 73 

did not feel very kindly to the church, because it had not 
called him to ordination as a gospel minister. He, therefore, 
secretly deeded the property to other trustees who were 
friendly to him. This was discovered, and after consider- 
able trouble and careful management the matter was rectified. 
The year following, 1749, Rev. Joseph Eaton, formerly of 
Montgomery, died. He was a brother of the above named 
George Eaton, and was only a little boy of seven years 
when he arrived, in 1686, in this country with his father, 
John Eaton. God raised him up to do much good. He 
was the father of Rev. Isaac Eaton, A. M., who was the 
first pastor of the church in Hopewell, New Jersey, and the 
first man in this country among the Baptists who established 
an academy for the purpose of promoting ministerial educa- 
tion. In his church, it is supposed, partially originated the 
plan for the formation of Brown University, in Rhode 
Island. He was its early friend, and Manning, Smith and 
others of his pupils were among the first to move in its 

In 1749 we learn for the first time the name of the 
Moderator of the Philadelphia Association. It was Na- 
thaniel Jenkins, a name worthy to stand at the head of 
as noble a list of excellent Christian men as ever graced a 
similar position in any religious organization. 


CHAPTER VIII.— 1751-1760. 


IN the early days of the Philadelphia Association, much 
attention was paid to fostering the feeble churches 
connected with it. The strong supported the weak, and 
the ministers were appointed to visit, preach to, and counsel 
with the smaller bands. The ordination of brethren to the 
ministry was frequently under the supervision of the Asso- 
ciation, and it was not an uncommon event to have a brother 
publicly set apart to the work of preaching the gospel 
during the meetings of the Association. Up to this decade 
the Philadelphia had been the only Baptist Association in 
the country, but with the growth of the Colonies and the 
spread of Baptist principles, the number of churches 
multiplied, and steps were taken to organize such bodies in 
different parts of the country, beginning with Charleston, 
South Carolina, in 175 1. 

By February 25th, 1752, the difficulties between the 
church at Pennypack and George Eaton were so far settled, 
he having shown a better Christian spirit and more fitness 


for the work, that the church on that day called him to 
exercise his gifts in the ministry " once a month and at 

In 1753, Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley was elected Principal 
of the English school connected with the College of this 
city. This position he held until July ilth, 1755, when he 
was elected Professor of Rhetoric in the College. Such 
were his eminent abilities that in 1757, the Trustees of the 
Institution conferred upon him the degree of Master of 
Arts — a degree then as valuable as it was rare. 

In 1754, the differences of opinion at Montgomery 

resulted in a separation, which led to the constitution of the 

church at New Britain, thus furnishing religious advantages 

to the people located in that vicinity. In 1756, John Davis 

was ordained to the work of the ministry at Montgomery. 

He was born at Pennypack, September loth, 1 72 1. After 

his ordination, he removed to Maryland and was the great 

pioneer of our denomination in that state. Relative to him 

in the Minutes of the Association for 1758, we find the 

following Testimonial : — 

Ordered that a testimonial be given and signed by the Rev. Jenkin 
Jones, minister of the Baptise meeting or congregation in Philadel- 
phia, to the Rev. John Davis, late of Bucks County, in Pennsylvania, 
but now of Baltimore county, in the province of Maryland, certifying 
his regular ordination, according to the rites, ceremonies and approved 
forms and usages of the Baptist church, and also his purity of life, 
manners and conversation ; and recommending him to the favor of 
all Christian people, where he now does, or may hereafter dwell. 

In pursuance of the above order, the following was 

given : — 

To all Christian people to whom these presents shall come, I, 
Jenkin Jones, minister of the Baptist meeting or congregation of 
the city of Philadelphia, do send and certify, that the bearer 
hereof, Mr. John Davis, late of Bucks county, in the province of 
Pennsylvania, but now residing and dwelling in Baltimore county, in 
the province of Maryland, in the month of April, in the year of our 
Lord, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-six, was regularly ad" 


mitted, ordained and received holy order to preach the gospel of our 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to all the people, according to the 
rites and ceremonies and approved forms and usages of the Baptist 
church ; and that at all times, before and since his ordination aforesaid, 
for anything heard, known or believed to the contrary, he lived a 
holy and unblemished life, as well in his conversation as in his actions. 
And I do humbly recommend him to the notice, esteem and regard 
of all Christians where he now does or hereafter may reside, or with 
whom he may have conversation or dealing. 

In testimony whereof and by order of the general meeting or 
Association aforesaid, I have hereunto set my hand, at the city of 
Philadelphia, the sixth day of October, in the year of our Lord, one 
thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight. Jenkin Jones. 

The above document illustrates the character of ordina- 
tion certificates, as well as the care taken in drawing them 
up, and in furnishing the ordained with them, more than a 
hundred years ago. 

The churches were becoming impressed with the im- 
portance of providing means and encouraging institutions 
for furnishing a liberal education to the young, and espe- 
cially to those who were to enter the ministry. Hence, at 
the Association in 1756, it was "Concluded to raise a sum 


of money towards the encouragement of a Latin Grammar 
School for the promotion of learning amongst us, under 
the care of Brother Isaac Eaton, and the inspection of our 
brethren, Abel Morgan, Isaac Stille, Abel Griffith and Peter 
Peterson Vanhorn." 

association's jubilee. 77 

This was the first effort in this vicinity to raise money 
for educational purposes under the auspices of our denomi- 
nation. The beginning was small, very insignificant, but 
from it has grown that magnificent system of, and facility 
for education among us in which we feel such a pride and 
interest. The following year the Association again " con- 
cluded to request the churches to contribute their mite 
towards the support of the Latin Grammar School, to pro- 
mote useful learning among us." In 1758 it was again 
*' Resolved, to desire our churches to continue a contribution 
toward a Grammar School, under consideration that what 
has been done hitherto in that way appears to have been 
well laid out, there being a number of well inclined youths 
applying themselves to learning therein." 

In 1757, the Association had been in existence fifty 
years, and by that .time twenty-five churches, situated 
respectively in the provinces of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, 
Delaware, Connecticut, New York, Virginia and Maryland 
had become connected with it. 

The dismissal of members from Montgomery to con- 
stitute the church at New Britain, led to the more earnest 
development, as is often the case, of the talent that re- 
mained. Accordingly several young brethren gave evidence 
of ability to preach the Word ; hence, at the Association 
in 1757,^ "In answer to a request from Kingwood, New 
Jersey, for ministerial supply, we advise them to apply to 
Montgomery, principally, and to others, as occasion re- 
quires." It was decided further, at the same session, " In 
consideration of the very great necessity for ministerial 
labor in many of the churches belonging to this Association, 
we request the church of Montgomery to send some of 
her young ministers to supply them as often as possible." 

It 1759, it was decided that the opening sermon before 
the Association should be " upon one of the fundamental 


articles of the Christian faith," the subject to be assigned 
the year before. Hence, for a number of years, a Doctrinal 
sermon was delivered on some one or other of the articles 
of faith as adopted by the Association. 

The Records of the First Baptist Church during the 
first fourteen years of its separate history are very meagre. 
For the first eleven years there are none at all. There was 
no attempt to keep a minute of the proceedings until August 
1 1, 1760. A few fragments of minutes are found in the first 
Book of Records commencing with February 4, 1757. 
From these we learn that Rev. Jenkin Jones, probably from 
enfeebled health, did not continue to preach up to the time 
of his death. The pulpit was supplied by Revs. Isaac Eaton, 
Isaac Stella, Thomas Davis, B. Griffiths, R P. Vanhorn, 
Samuel Stillman, D. D., B. Miller, John Marks, Owen 
Thomas, Joseph Thomas, Samuel Heaton. There are also 
records of some bickerings, but, by prudence and counsel, 
said troubles, were healed. Anxious to obtain a pastor, and 
there being no one in the country suitable, whom they 
could secure, March 13, 1760, the church authorized John 
Griffith, "to write to the Board of Ministers in London, to 
request that they send us a minister." Another letter also 
"was sent by the well-wishers" of the church. July 16, 
1760, Jenkin Jones died, and his funeral sermon was preached 
on the 20th by Rev. Isaac Eaton. He was a man who had 
rendered good service to the cause of Christ, the Baptist 
denomination and to the church in Philadelphia. He was 
the means of securing to the Baptists the property on Second 
Street, when the Episcopalians attempted to get it. He 
built a parsonage for the church partly at his own expense. 
He gave a legacy, July 3, 1762, towards purchasing a large 
silver cup or chalice for the Lord's Table, which cost about 
^60 Pennsylvania currency. The church on receipt of this 
legacy, July 3, 1762, "Agreed that M. Edwards and Isaac 


Jones, Esq., do buy a two handle silver cup or chalice, 
for the wine in the Lord's Supper, with the said legacy, 
and in case the chalice should cost more than £2^^ that 
the old silver cup (now belonging to the Meeting) should 
be sold to help pay for the new chalice. And that the 
Rev. Jenkin Jones' name be engraved on the front of the 
new chalice. This is still used by the church at every 
communion season. On the face of it is the inscription : 

The Legacy of 

The Rev-i 

Jenkin Jones, 

who died, July i6th, 


In addition to this cup, the church has in use two plates. 
On the rim of each is the inscription : 

Baptist Church, Philada. 


On two of the goblets used in the communion service is 

inscribed : 

The Particular 

Baptist Church 




Mr. Jones was the moving cause of securing such alter- 
ations in the licence laws as to enable dissenting ministers 
to perform the marriage ceremony. At his death he was 
buried in the graveyard adjoining the church, where a tomb 
was erected to his memory. Upon the removal of the dead 
from that place in i860, his remains were reinterred in a 
beautiful spot in Mount Moriah Cemetery. 

A letter from London was promptly received in answer 
to the one sent, recommending Rev. Morgan Edwards, and 
on September 15th, the church directed a letter to be drawn 
up inviting "Mr. Edwards to come over, or any other gentle- 
man of like character, to take the ministerial charge of the 


church." The School at Hopewell was succeeding well and 
the students were beginning to go abroad to preach. Under 
date of April I2, 1760, the minutes of the church in Phila- 
delphia state: "The 20th of this month, Mr. Talbot preached 
with great warmth. He was the first fruit of the Hopewell 
School." Rev. John Gano was requested to supply the 
church until the spring, when Mr. Edwards was expected. 

In Mr. Gano's autobiography he records the following 
relative to this request ; "During my residence in North 
Carolina, Mr. Jenkin Jones, pastor of the Baptist Church 
in Philadelphia, died ; and the church being destitute of a 
pastor, had sent a call to England for one. It was represen- 
ted that they had been so particular in the requisite qualifi- 
cations for a minister, that it has given offence to the 
preachers ; so that they were entirely destitute. They made 
application to me to visit them ; and also to Mr. Miller, of 
Scotch Plains, who had been a successful minister in New 
York, and had baptized sundry persons there. I visited New 
York and Philadelphia, alternately. I at length came to the 
conclusion that I would supply both places, two Sabbaths at 
each place. The church at Philadelphia invited me to 
bring my family, and tarry with them, till they received an 
answer from England. I answered them that I would not 
come on such terms ; but if they would affix a certain time 
for my stay, I would accept of their invitation. To 
this proposal they acceded, and I went to Philadelphia. 
While there, Mrs. Gano had a daughter, born December 
23d, 1760, w^hom w^e called Peggy. During my stay there, 
which was through the winter, the church appeared in a 
flourishing state, and several additions were made to it." 

"About the time I left Philadelphia," continues John 
Gano, "Providence blessed that church, by sending a young 
and respectable preacher, Samuel Hillman, from South 
Carolina, among them. He possessed popular talents as a 


Speaker. He continued with them till the arrival of Morgan 
Edwards, the minister from England. Mr. Stillman went 
to Boston, where he now continues, pastor of the First Bap- 
tist Church in that place. I remained in the city of New 
York, until the British War." 

In connection with the passing events of the denomina- 
tion, it would be of interest to weave in the various occur- 
rences of importance connected with the mental, and material 
life of the city. Except where these are so manifestly inter- 
woven with the history of the Baptists, however, the record 
of them would unnecesarily enlarge the limits of this work. 


CHAPTER IX.— 1761-1763. 


THIS decade ushered in a marked advance in all that 
pertains to real progress. New men appeared on the 
stage, and new measures were inaugurated. May 23, 176 1, 
Rev. Morgan Edwards arrived in this city. He was born 
in Wales, May 9th, 1722, and commenced preaching when 
sixteen years of age. After completing his labors he served 
a church in Boston, England, for seven years, then one in 
Cork, Ireland, for nine years. From Cork, he returned to 
England, and preached for a year at Rye, in Sussex. 
During his residence there. Rev. Dr. Gill, of London, 
received a letter from the church in Philadelphia, requesting 
him to assist them in obtaining a pastor. He applied to 
Mr. Edwards as the person most likely to suit and satisfy 
the people. The application was favorably received and he 
took passage for America. Upon his arrival he at once 
entered upon the pastorate of the church, and was received 
into their fellowship June ist, by letter from Penyam, 
in Monmouthshire, South Wales. The church paid the 
expenses of his voyage and gave to him a very cordial 


reception. There are men who are very ready to preach 
simply because of a high estimation of themselves. The 
First Church had one of these men in its early history. 
The minutes for September 4th, 1762, state " Dr. G. Weed 
proposed to preach to us occasionally. The thing was con- 
sidered and this answer returned, ' The church return our 
Bro. Weed thanks for his desire to serve the church ; but 
would defer the proposal till they see necessary to invite 
Mr. Weed thereto.* The Doctor was not pleased, and said 
it was like a trick which Dr. Faustus played with the devil." 
This did not quiet him. Having charge of the Hospital, 
he seemed there to assume ministerial functions, preaching 
there as a minister, without the authority of the church, and 
inviting persons from without to come and hear him. The 
church wrote him a kindly but decided letter remonstrating 
with him, declaring that they " knew Bro. Weed very well, 
yet are not willing to know Minister Weed." This course 
displeased the Doctor, and the church, July I, 1765, was 
compelled to erase his name from the records for non- 
attendance on and non-support of the church. 

At the church meeting following the above, October 2d, 
1762, there was an excommunication, the record of which 
is not without interest at this date ; — 

Whereas, John Taylor has now, a third time, contradicted his 
baptismal vows of repentance and holiness by relapsing to the sin of 
drunkenness; and has, moreover, absconded from his master, whereby 
he has defrauded his master out of a year's servitude ; we hold our- 
selves bound to cut him off from the church, erase his name out of 
the church's book, and deliver him up to Satan for the destruction of 
the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus; 
and accordingly he is hereby excommunicated. And God have mercy 
on his soul. Amen. 

That a thorough supervision of the members of the 

church might be maintained, it was agreed, November 6th, 

1762, "that Mr. Edwards do give each regular member of 

this church twelve written tickets every year, and that each 


communicant put one in the box at every communion, that 
it may be known who are absent, that an enquiry may be 
made after them." 

Morgan Edwards at once took a prominent position, 
because of his talents, energy and piety. Accordingly, at 
the meeting of the Association, succeeding his arrival, he 
was placed in a position of prominence, trust and work. 
He was " appointed to take charge of the book of records, 
and insert therein the minutes," of that body, in connec- 
tion with Rev. P. P. Vanhorn. This is the work that had 
been begun by Benjamin Griffiith. He was also appointed 
one of the librarians of the Association, and of the corres- 
pondents with the Baptists in " London and elsewhere." 

The letter to England is of value as a historical docu- 
ment, and is as follows : — 

The Association of Particular Baptist Churches, annually held at 
Philadelphia, to the Board of Particular Baptist Ministers in London : 

Reverend Brethren, We greet you well ; and, as a part of that 
community, in the British Dominions, (whereof you have in some sort 
the superintendence,) we offer you our acquaintance, and solicit a 
share of your public care and friendship. Our numbers in these parts 
multiply, for when we had the pleasure of writing to you, in 1734, 
there were but nine churches in our Association, yet now there are 
twenty-eight, all owning the Confession of Faith put forth in London, 
in 1689. Some of the churches are now destitute; but we have a 
prospect of supplies, partly by means of a Baptist academy lately set 
up. This infant seminary of learning is yet weak, having no moie 
than twenty-four pounds a year towards its support. Should it be in 
your power to favor this school any way, we presume you will be 
pleased to know how. A few books proper for such a school, or a 
small apparatus, or some pieces of apparatus, are more immediately 
wanted, and not to be had easily in these parts. We have also of late 
endeavoured to form a library at Philadelphia, for the use of our 
brethren in the ministry who are not able to purchase books. This 
design also wants the assistance of our brethren in England. However, 
our design in writing to you in this public manner is to renew a cor- 
respondence which hath been dropped for some years past : and it 
you think well of it, we shall be glad to hear from you against our 
next Association, in October. You may direct to our brother, Mor- 


gan Edwards, at Philadelphia. We commend you to the grace of 
God, and desire your prayers for us, and remain your brethren in the 
faith. Signed, by order of the Association, 

Peter Peterson Vanhorn, 
Philadelphia, May i6, 1762. MORGAN Edwards. 

The effect of the presence of Morgan Edwards is seen 
in the improved value of the minutes of the Association for 
that year. For the first time is given, in 1761, a table of 
statistics of the churches, collected and arranged by him. 
The Pennypack, Philadelphia and Montgomery churches, 
all the Baptist churches in the entire country then, reported 
that year an aggregate membership of 202 ; total number 
of baptisms, 30; and entire number of "hearers," 1150. 

In "a sketch of the history and the present organization 
of Brown University, published by the Executive Board," 
in 1 86 1, is this statement: — 

This Institution, which was founded in 1794, owes its origin to 
the desire of the Baptists in the American Colonies to secure for 
members of their denomination a liberal education, without subjection 
to any sectarian tests. At the suggestion of Rev. Morgan Edwards, 
the pastor of the First Baptist Church, in Philadelphia, the Philadel- 
phia Baptist Association, in the year 1762, resolved to establish a 
college in the colony of Rhode Island and Providence plantations. 
The Rev. James Manning, a graduate of the College of New Jersey, 
was commissioned by them to travel through the northern colonies, 
for the purpose of fostering this project. 

In 1764, a charter was obtained for the College from the 
legislature of the colony. Rev. Morgan Edwards was 
elected a member of its first Board of Fellows, a position 
which he held until 1789. 

With the inauguration of this enterprise, the Philadel- 
phia Association thus earnestly expressed itself in 1764: — 

Agreed, to inform the churches to which we respectively belong, 
that, inasmuch as a charter is obtained in Rhode Island government 
toward erecting a Baptist college, the churches should be liberal in 
contributing towards carrying the same into execution. 


In 1766, this body again 

Agreed, to recommend warmly to our churches the interest of the 
college, for which a subscription is opened all over the continent. 
This college hath been set on foot upward of a year, and has now in 
it three promising youths under the tuition of President Manning, 

The year in which Brown University was first projected 
in Philadelphia was signalized by tearing down the Baptist 
Meeting-house, erected in 1731, in Lagrange Place, and the 
construction of a more spacious edifice. 61 by 42 feet. 
Like its predecessor, it was built of brick, and cost ^2,200. 
This rebuilding will, doubtless, account for the fact that the 
Association, in 1762, "met at the Lutheran church in Fifth 
street, between Arch and Race streets, where the sound of 
the organ was heard in the Baptist worship." This was St. 
Michael's Church, at the corner of Fifth and Cherry streets. 

February 7th, of this year. Rev. P. P. Vanhorn, after an 
acceptable pastorate of nearly fifteen years, resigned the 
care of the Pennypack church, and removed to New Mills, 
now Pemberton, New Jersey, where, June 23, 1764, he 
was instrumental in founding the Baptist church. April 2, 
1768, he returned to and resided at Pennypack. December 
9th, 1769, he was again received into the church and 
remained a member of it until September 1 8th, 1770, when 
he removed to Cape May, New Jersey, and became pastor 
there. At the Association in 1762, "Certificates of the 
ordination and good morals of Rev. David Thomas and 
Rev. David Sutton were drawn up by Rev. Samuel Jones 
and Isaac Jones, Esq., and the city seal affixed thereto by 
the Recorder, Benjamin Chew, Esq., for which he took no 
fee." This seal attached to the aforenamed certificate is a 
curiosity in this day, when such a custom has fallen into 
disuse almost entirely. It also contains a high testimony 
to the Baptist pastor in this city. It is as follows : — 

I, Benjamin Chew, Esq., Recorder of the city of Philadelphia, do 
hereby certify that the Rev. Morgan Edwards, A. M., who hath 




signed the above certificate, is pastor of the Baptist church in this 
city of Philadelphia, and Moderator of the above Association, and 
that he s a gentleman of most exemplary morals and piety. 

In testimony of which, I have hereunto caused the seal of this 
said city to be affixed, this 17th day of October, A. D. 1762. 

Benjamin Chew, Recorder. 

After the departure of P. P. Vanhorn to Pemberton, the 
minutes of the Pennypack church, under date of March 
nth, 1762, contain the following: — 

Concluded to call Bro. George Eaton to supply us ye remainder of 
ye time, excepting ye 3rd Sabbath in every month, at which time he is 
under promise to preach at a place called the Ridge, near German- 

The place referred to as "the Ridge," is Roxborough. 

Mr. Eaton did not live to labor long after this, as the 
inscription on the plain, blue marble headstone, which 
marks his last resting place, in the graveyard at Pennypack, 
will inform us. It is as follows : — 

In memory of 

the Rev. George Eaton, 

who departed this life July 

1st, 1764, aged 'j'j years 

II months. 

Who did delight his talents to improve. 

And speak ye glorys of Redeeming love. 

Ml. Eaton was born in Wales, and was brought to this 
country in 1686 by his parents when butalitttle babe. He 
was the brother of Rev. Joseph Eaton, whose son, Isaac, 
founded the Latin School, at Hopewell, New Jersey. 

Samuel Jones, who arrived in this city in 1737, was con- 
verted very early in life and became a member of the Tul- 
pehocken Baptist Church in Berks County, Pa., of which 
his father Rev. Thomas Jones was pastor. Samuel entered 
upon a course of study in the College of Philadelphia, and 
December 5, 1760, was received into the Baptist Church of 
this city by letter from the one at Tulpehocken. He pro- 


secuted his studies until May i8, 1762, when he was grad- 
uated and received the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He 
was shortly thereafter licensed by the church to preach the 
Gospel. The following is a copy of the license: — 

To all whom it may concern. This certifies that Samuel Jones, 
A. B., has been regularly called to exercise his ministerial gifts by the 
Baptist Church of Philadelphia, whereof he is a member, and, after 
trial in private and public, the Church judge he will be useful in the 
Ministry. Wherefore he is hereby licensed and authorized to preach 
the Gospel wherever he may have a call so to do among the Baptists, 
until such time as circumstances will admit of his ordination. Done 
at a Church Meeting held in the College of Philadelphia July 10, 
1762. Signed in behalf of the whole, by us. 

Morgan Edwards, Minister. 
Joshua Moor, George Westcott, ? ^ 
Samuel Davis, Septimus Levering, \ ^^^^^^^>^- 

December 4, 1762, the Church ''agreed unanimously that 
Samuel Jones be ordained on January 2, 1763, and that 
Messrs. Morgan Edwards, Isaac Eaton and Samuel Still- 
man be concerned therein, and that messengers be sent to 
invite the two last to give their attendance. Morgan Ed- 
wards to preach the sermon and to conduct the ordination, 
Isaac Eaton to give the Charge; and all to be concerned in 
imposition of hands and prayer." The address of the 
church to these ministering brethren relative to this ordi- 
nation is of interest : — 

To Messrs. Morgan Edwards, Isaac Eaton and Samuel Stillman : — 

Rev. Sirs: We, the Baptist Church of Philadelphia, greet you well, 
and beg leave to recommend to you for ordination cur beloved brother 
Samuel Jones, A. B., whom we, by our representative, Mr. Wescott, 
set before you for that purpose. He is a man of sound learning, good 
morals, and exemplary piety, your compliance with our request will 
be domg a pleasure to your brethren in the faith and fellowship of 
the Gospel. Signed by order, and in behalf of the church at our 
meeting of business in the College of Philadelphia, January i, 1763. 

Barnaby Barnes, Clerk. 

From the above documents, aside from their interest, 

we learn that during the rebuilding of the Meeting House 

on Second Street, the church worshipped in the hall of the 


College of Philadelphia. This edifice was on the west side 
of Fourth Street, below Arch. It was originally erected in 
1 74 1, for the Rev. George Whitefield, and was known as 
Whitefield's Church. In 1749 an Academy and Charitable 
School was organized in the city, and occupied this build- 
ing. In 1750 it was opened as a Latin School; in 1755 it 
was chartered under the title of " The College, Academy, 
and Charitable School of Philadelphia," and in 1779 was 
opened as the University of Pennsylvania. The Union 
Methodist Episcopal Church now occupies the identical 
spot of Whitefield's Church, or College Hall. Samuel 
Jones forthwith became pastor of the Pennypack and 
Southampton Churches, a position he filled until 1770, 
when he resigned the latter and gave himself exclusively to 
the pastorship of the former. At the time of his ordination 
it would seem that the Church in Philadelphia regarded it 
as the prerogative of the Ministry to determine upon the 
qualification of a candidate for Baptism. Accordingly the 
subject was brought up and decided at the Meeting of the 
Association as follows : — 

A question was moved by the church of the Great Valley to this 
effect : Whether it be the prerogative of a church to receive appli- 
cations for Baptism, examine the candidates, and to judge of their 
qualifications for Baptism, or whether these be the distinct and pecu- 
liar prerogatives of the Minister, exclusive of the laity ? 

The occasion of this question was the opinion and practice of the 
Church of Philadelphia, who by a general vote have allowed the said 
prerogatives to belong to the Minister, by the tenor of the commission 
relative to Baptism, and the universal practice of the commissioners ; 
and that there is neither precept nor precedent for the contrary in 
Scripture. All allowed that this may be, and in some cases must be ; 
but that the other practice was more expedient. However, none pre- 
tended to say it was warranted by Scripture. The question was put, 
—Whether the point was a term of Communion, and whether it 
should be debated or dropped? None stood up for either. So that it 
was dropped. 

In 1762 the degree of Master of Arts was conferred on 
Morgan Edwards by the College of Philadelphia, and in 


1769 the same honor was bestowed by Brown University. 
Whether the reception of this degree prompted the action 
as recorded in the Church Minutes for April 30, 1763, we 
do not profess to say : — 

Mr. Edwards desires to know the sense of the church relative to 
his wearing a master's gown in the common services of the Church ; 
for as to wearing it abroad and on special occasions, he said, he in- 
tended to use his right and own discretion. The Church desired him 
to use his liberty and that wearing or not wearing it would give no 
offence to the Church. 

June 4, 1763, the church called Stephen Watts, a licen- 
tiate and a graduate of the College of Philadelphia, to be 
an Assistant to Rev. Morgan Edwards in the Ministry. He 
accepted the call and entered upon the work July 2nd. The 
ordination of deacons was strictly adhered to by the 
Churches at this time. An account of such ordination in 
Philadelphia is given in the Records for December 10, 

The Church met this day, by way of preparation for celebrating 
the Lord's Supper on the morrow; and to ordain deacons. The 
Meeting began with prayer from the desk suitable to both designs of 
the Meeting. Then was delivered a dissertation on the office of a 
deacon, his qualifications and duty and the manner of his election 
and instalment in the office. Then the deacons elect, viz. Joseph 
Moulder, Joseph Watkins and Samuel Miles were brought to the ad- 
ministrator ; who laid his hands on each, and prayed in the following 
words : In the name of the Lord Jesus, and according to the practice 
of His Apostles towards persons chosen to the deaconship, I lay 
hands on you, my brother, whereby you are constituted, or ordained 
a deacon of this church ; installed in the office and appointed and 
empowered to collect and receive her revenues, and to dispose thereof 
in providing for and serving the Lord's table ; and in providing for 
the table of the Minister and the poor ; and in transacting other tem- 
poral affairs of the church, that the Minister may not be deterred from 
the word and prayer, nor the concerns of the family of faith neglected. 
In the use of which rite of imposition of hands, I pray that God will 
confirm in heaven what we do on earth, and receive you into the 
number of them who minister to him in the civil affairs of His sanc- 
tuary. That he will fill you more and more with the Holy Ghost, 


wisdom and honesty ; that, by using the office of a deacon well, you 
may purchase to yourself a good degree, and great boldness in the 
faith, even so Lord Jesus. Amen. When each had been ordained, 
they stood up from kneeling and were addressed by the Minister in 
the following manner : We give you the right hand of fellowship in 
token that we acknowledge you for our deacon, and to express our 
congratulations and good wishes. 


CHAPTER X.— 1764-1770. 


UNDER date of March 13, 1764, a new phase of church 
polity was introduced. For some years the sisters had 
not taken part in the business of the church. While the names 
of the brethren are given who were present at each business 
meeting, no ladies are mentioned as attending. On the 
above date, the following question was, "on behalf of some of 
the sisters" propounded: "Whether women have a right to 
vote in church affairs?" On March 31st, an answer was 
returned, " with due honor to the sisters," as follows: — 

That the rights of Christians are not subject to our determinations, 
nor to the determinations of any church or state upon earth. We 
could easily answer that, in civil affairs, they have no such right ; but 
whether they have or have not in the church, can only be determined 
by the Gospel, to which we refer them. But, if, upon inquiry, no 
such grant of right can be found in the Gospel, and if voting shall 
appear to be a mere custom, we see no necessity for breaking it except 
the custom should, at any time, be stretched to subvert the subordi- 
nation which the Gospel hath established in all the churches of the 
saints, " I suffer not a woman to usurp authority, but command that 
she be in subjection, as also saith the law." i Tim. 2. i., i Cor. 14. 
Nor do we know that this church, or any of us, have done anything 
to deprive the sisters of such a practice, be it a right, or be it a cus- 
tom only, except a neglect on a late occasion be deemed such, which 
we justify not. On the contrary, if the sisters do attend our meetings 
of business, we propose that their suffrage or disapprobation shall have 
their proper influence ; and, in case they do not attend statedly, we 
purpose to invite them when anything is to be transacted which touches 
the interest of their souls. 


May 5th, a communication was received from the women 
in reply, and it was decided that the sisters should have the 
right of suffrage as in former years. 

Like the church at Pennypack, the one in Philadelphia 
had Ruling Elders. Three were elected for the first time 
May loth, 1866. Their names were Isaac Jones, George 
Westcott and Samuel Davis. June 14th, "they were or- 
dained by laying on of hands and prayer." 

In 1766, was commenced that fraternal correspondence 
on the part of the Philadelphia Association which, for so 
many years, was carried on, and from which in the early 
days so much of pleasure and encouragement resulted. It 
was then 

Moved and agreed to: That a yearly intercourse between the 
Associations to the east and west of us be, by letters and messengers, 
now begun, and hereafter maintained. Accordingly, Rev. Samuel 
Jones was ordered to write to the Association to be held at Warren, 
the Tuesday before the second Sunday in September, and Revs. John 
Gano, Samuel Jones and Morgan Edwards appointed to meet them as 
delegates from us. 

This was the first meeting of the Warren Association, 
at the organization of which the number of Baptist Asso- 
ciations in the country had increased to seven, viz : the 
Philadelphia, organized in 1 707; the Charleston, in South 
Carolina, 175 1 ; the Sandy Creek, in North Carolina, 1758; 
the Leyden, in Massachusetts, 1763; the Kuhukee, in North 
Carolina, 1765 ; the Ketockton, in Virginia, 1766; and the 
Warren, in Rhode Island, 1767. 

Up to 1766 the Baptist Churches of New England had 
not been gathered into an Association. Rev. James Man- 
ing was exceedingly anxious that this should be done. A 
meeting for this purpose was held at Warren, Rhode Is- 
land, September 8, 1 767. From the Philadelphia Association 
were Rev. John Gano (who preached the introductory ser- 
mon from Acts xv : 9, and was chosen Moderator of the 


new body), Rev. Abel Griffith, and Noah Hammond. The 
following letter was sent by them : — 

The Elders and Messengers of the several Baptist Churches met 
in Association at Philadelphia, the 14th, 15th, and i6th day of Octo- 
ber, 1766. To the Elders and Messengers of the several Baptist 
Churches of the same faith and order, to meet in Association at 
Warren, in the Colony of Rhode Island, the 8th day of September, 
1767, send greeting. Dearly Beloved Brethren: — When we under- 
stood that you concluded to meet at the time and place above men- 
tioned, with a view to lay the foundation stone of an associational 
building, it gave us peculiar joy, in that it opened to our view a pros- 
pect of much good being done. You will perhaps judge this our ad- 
dress to you premature, because as yet you have only an ideal being, 
as a body by appointment. But if you should call thi^ our forward- 
ness blind zeal, we are still in hopes you will not forget that our em- 
bracing the first opportunity of commencing Christian fellowship and 
acquaintance with you affords the strongest evidence of our appro- 
bation of your present meeting, and how fond we should be of mutual 
correspondence between us in this way, 

A long course of experience and observation has taught us to have 
the highest sense of the advantages which accrue from associations ; 
nor indeed does the nature or thing speak any other language. For, 
as particular members are collected together and united in one body, 
which we call a particular church, to answer those ends and purposes 
which could not be accomplished by any single member, so a collec- 
tion and union of churches into one associational body may easily be 
conceived capable of answering those still greater purposes which any 
particular church could not be equal to. And by the same reason, a 
union of associations will still increase the body in weight and strength, 
and make it good that a th tee-fold cord is not easily broken. 

Great, dear brethren, is the design of your meeting, great is the 
work which lies before you. You will need the guidance and influ- 
ence of the Divine Spirit, as well as the exertion of all prudence and 
wisdom. It is therefore our most ardent prayer that you may meet 
in love, that peace and unanimity may subsist among you during your 
consultations, that you may be animated with zeal for the glory of 
God, and directed to advise and determine what may most conduce to 
promote the Redeemer's Kingdom. 

From considering the divided state of our Baptist Churches in 
your quarters, we foresee that dif^culties may arise, such as may call 
for the exercise of the greatest tenderness and moderation, that if 
happy, through the blessing of God on your endeavors, those lesser 
differences may subside, and a more general union commence- 

As touching our consultations at this, our meeting, the minutes of 


our proceedings (a printed copy whereof we shall herewith enclose) 
will inform you, and if in anything further you should be desirous of 
information with regard to us, we refer you to our reverend and be- 
loved brethren Morgan Edwards, John Gano and Samuel Jones, who 
as our representative delegates, will present you with this our letter, 
and whom we recommend to Christian fellowship with you. And now 
dear brethren, farewell. May the Lord bless and direct you in all 
things, and grant that we may all hereafter form one general assem- 
bly at his right hand, through infinite riches of free grace in Christ 
Jesus our Lord. Signed by order and in behalf of the Association, by 

Benjamin Miller, Moderator. 

Samuel Jones, Clerk. 

Realizing the importance of and the necessity for the 
Rhode Island College, and as funds were needed, both for 
the support of the institution and for the ultimate erection 
of a suitable College building, Morgan Edwards, who had 
this subject right on his heart, was released by his people 
from the care of his church for a time, his pulpit being sup- 
plied by the different ministers of the Association, in order 
that he might collect the needed aid for the College. These 
ministers were compensated out of the salary of Mr. Ed- 
wards. This act was generous on the part of his church, 
the ministering brethren, and Mr. Edwards, and exhibited the 
warm place that education held in their hearts. In 1767, 
he visited England and Ireland, for the purpose of soliciting 
funds. His subscription paper bearing the honored names 
of Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin West, may still be 
seen in the college archives. On his relation to this Insti- 
tution Dr. William Rogers, in his sermon commemorative 
of Morgan Edwards, well said : — 

The College of Rhode Island is greatly beholden to him for his 
vigorous exertions, at home and abroad, in raising money for that In- 
stitution, and for his particular activity in procuring its charter. This 
he deemed the greatest service he ever did for the honor of the Bap- 
tist name. As one of its first sons, I cheerfully make this public tes- 
timony of his laudable and well-timed zeal. 

One week before the meeting of the Association, in 
1768, the venerable and faithful Benjamin Griffith, of Mont- 


gomery, fell asleep in Jesus. This was on October 5th, in 
the eighty-first year of his age. In his day he was one of 
the prominent men of the denomination. Morgan Edwards 
says, " Mr. Griffith was a man of parts, though not elo- 
quent, and had by industry acquired tolerable acquaintance 
with languages and books." He states also that he was 
once offered a commission of Justice of the Peace, which, 
however, he declined ; and on being asked the reason why 
he refused such an honor, he replied, " men are not to re- 
ceive from offices, but offices from men — as much as men 
receive the others lose, till at last offices come to have no 
honor at all." 

The Philadelphia Association usually met in this city, 
though in its earlier years it may have met occasionally at 
Pennypack, Piscataway, Cohansey, Middleton, and Welsh 
Tract. The first record of its meeting out of this city is in 
1769, when its sessions were held in New York, with the 
church constituted there June 19, 1762. At this meeting 
held in October, pleasing accounts from Rhode Island Col- 
lege were conveyed to the Association. Its first Com- 
mencement had been held the previous month, when seven 
young men had been graduated, among whom was William 
Rogers, hereafter to be mentioned. The College was very 
profuse in its honors that year, twenty-two Ministers or lay- 
men receiving honorary degrees, among those who were 
the recipients of the Master's degree were Rev. Morgan 
Edwards, Samuel Jones, John Davis and Abel Morgan of 
the Philadelphia Association. Whether these honors had 
the effect to lead the Association to appreciate the impor- 
tance of having their Minutes printed we are not informed ; 
at any rate, that year, for the first time, the Minutes were 
printed for distribution among the churches. '' Morgan 
Edwards," says Dr. Rogers, *' was the moving cause of 
having the Minutes of the Philadelphia Association printed, 


which he could not bring to bear for some years, and there- 
fore at his own expense he printed tables, exhibiting the 
original and annual state of the Associating Churches." 
In the Minutes for that year is the following record : — 

It was shown by some from Philadelphia, that they had obtained 
leave from the church they belonged to, (on Second Street) to form 
themselves into a distinct society in the Northern Liberties of that 
city, and they were desirous to know the sense of the Association 
touching their design ; voted, That if any of our Ministers were free 
to constitute them into a church, in said Liberties, they might do it 
without offending the Association. 

This answer would imply that there was some doubt as 
to the propriety of this movement, yet the church was or- 
ganized, as in the Minutes of the next year is the follow- 

The church in the Northern Liberties, of Philadelphia, proposed 
to join the Association ; but, objections being made, the matter was 
referred to the Committee, who brought in their report, and the 
junction was deferred. 

By this time the churches and members of our denomi- 
nation, who had already endured such bitter persecutions in 
New England, Virginia and other places, were growing 
restless under the fierce hostilities for non-conformity to the 
religious establishments. They came with a statement of 
their wrongs to the Philadelphia Association, and that body, 
loyal to the great Baptist principle of liberty of conscience, 
then, as ever afterward, manifested practical sympathy, and 
inaugurated those active measures which contributed their 
influence in securing to this country, ultimately, that re- 
ligious liberty now enjoyed. The minutes for 1769 state : — 

By letter and messengers from Warren, we were informed that 
they had petitioned the Legislatures of Boston and Connecticut in 
favor of their brethren who suffer for non-conformity to the religious 
establishments of those colonies; and in case their petitions produced 
not a speedy or effectual redress of their grievances, requested that we 
would join with them in a petition to our gracious sovereign. 


Voted, that this Association will not only join that of Warren in 
seeking relief for our oppressed brethren, but will also solicit the con- 
currence of the Associations of Virginia and Carolina in the design, 
if need be. 

Voted also. That letters and messengers be sent to signify this, 
our resolution. The letter to the Warren Association was drawn up 
by the Rev. Samuel Jones ; the messengers. Rev. Samuel Waldo and 
Rev. Benjamin Coles. That to the Virginia Association by Rev. 
Hezekiah Smith ; the messenger. Rev. John Gano. 

These efforts were unavailing, however, as we learn 

from the Association minutes of 1770 : — 

By the letter from the Warren Association, it appears that our 
brethren in New England are sorely oppressed this year again, and no 
redress obtained, though diHgently sought for; their case is to go 
home soon, to be laid at the feet of our gracious sovereign. Rev. 
Hezekiah Smith is appointed agent, who proposes to sail about the 
beginning of November, They requested their brethren belonging 
to this Association to help them to defray the expenses of the agent. 
The request was attended to with much sympathy. Collections to be 
made in all our churches immediately and to be sent either to Mr. 
George Wescott, of Philadelphia, or Mr. Williams, of New York, to 
be by them forwarded to London. Also, a committee was appointed 
to draw a memorial, addressed to Rev. Dr. Stennett and others, in 
favor of our New England brethren's design. 

We cannot here refrain from giving the contents of 
the letters received from New England concerning the 
sufferings of our brethren at Ashfield, near Boston : — 

The laws of this province were never intended to exempt the 
Baptists from paying towards building and repairing Presbyterian 
meeting-houses, and making up Presbyterian ministers' salaries ; for, 
besides other insufficiencies, they are all limited as to extent and 
duration. The first law extended only five miles around each Baptist 
meeting-house ; those without this circle had no relief, neither had 
they within, for, though it exempted their polls, it left their estate to 
the mercy of harpies, and their estates went to wreck. The Baptists 
sought a better law, and with great difficulty, and waste of time and 
money, obtained it. But this was not universal ; it extended not to 
any parish until a Presbyterian meeting-house should be built and a 
Presbyterian minister settled there; in consequence of which, the 
Baptists have never been freed from the first and great expenses of 
their parishes— expenses equal to the current expenses of ten or 
twelve years. This is the present case of the people of Ashfield, 


which is a Baptist settlement. There were but five families of other 
denominations in the place when the Baptist church was constituted ; 
but those five and a few more have lately built a Presbyterian meeting- 
house and settled an orthodox minister, as they call him ; which last 
cost ;{^20o. To pay for both, they laid a tax on the land, and, as the 
Baptists are the most numerous, the greatest part fell to their share. 
The Presbyterians, in April last demanded the money. The Baptists 
pleaded poverty, alleging that they had been twice driven from their 
plantations by the Indians' last war ; that they were but new settlers, 
and had cleared but a few spots of land, and had not been able to 
build commodious dwelling houses. The tyrants would not hear. 
Then the Baptists pleaded the ingratitude of such conduct, for they 
had built a fort there at their own expense, and had maintained it for 
two years, and so had protected the interior Presbyterians, as well as 
their neighbors, who now rose up against them ; that the Baptists to 
the westward had raised money to relieve Presbyterians who had, like 
them, suffered from the Indians ; and that it was cruel to take from 
them what the Indians had left. But nothing touched the hearts of these 
cruel people. Then the Baptists urged the law of the province ; but 
were soon told that that law extended to no new parish* till the meeting- 
house and minister were paid for. Then the Baptists petitioned the gen- 
eral court ; proceedings were stopped till further orders, and the poor 
people went home rejoicing, thinking their property safe , but had not 
all got home before said order came, and it was an order for the Pres- 
byterians to proceed. Accordingly, in the month of April they fell 
foul on their plantations, and not on skirts and corners, but on the 
cleared and improved spots, and so have mangled their estates, and 
left them hardly any but a wilderness ; they sold the house and 
garden of one man, and the young orchards, meadows and corn-fields 
of others ; nay, they sold their dead, for they sold their grave-yard. 
The orthodox minister was one of the purchasers. These spots 
amounted to three hundred and ninety-five acres, and have since been 
valued at £^^6^ Ss., but were sold for ^35 loj-. This was the first 
payment ; two more are coming, which will not leave them an inch of 
land at this rate. The Baptists waited on the Assembly five times 
this year for relief, but were not heard, under pretence they did no 
business ; but their enemies were heard, and had their business done. 
At last the Baptists got together about a score of the members at 
Cambridge, and made their complaint known ; but in general they 
were treated very superciliously. One of them spoke to this eftect: 
'■^The general assetnbly have a right to do what they did, ajid if you 
don't like it yoic may quit the placed But^ alas, they must leave 
their all behind ! These Presbyterians are not only supercilious in 
power, but mean and cruel in mastery. When they came together 
to mangle the estates of the Baptists, they diverted themselves with 


the tears and lamentations of the oppressed. One of them, whose 
name is Wells, stood up to preach a mock sermon on the occasion ; 
and, among other things, used words to this effect: ^^The Baptists, 
for refusing to pay an orthodox minister, shall be cut in pound pieces 
and boiled for their fat to grease the deviVs carriage,'' etc. 

The meeting-house at Pennypack, erected in 1707, was 
torn down in 1770, and a neat stone building was erected, 
30 by 33 feet, "with pews, galleries, and a stove, which 
latter accommodation was not to be found in all the meet- 
ing-houses." The present edifice at Lower Dublin was 
erected in 1805, when Dr. Samuel Jones was pastor. 


CHAPTER XL— 1771-1775. 


WE come now to the decade in American History 
which tried men's souls, and in which our own city 
acted no unimportant part. The record of our denomi- 
nation in these parts then was true and our Ministry almost 
to a man were loyal to those principles for which, through 
all the ages of Christianity, Baptists have so earnestly con- 
tended. Up to April 6, 1 77 1, Rev. Samuel Jones remained 
connected with the First Baptist Church ; on that date he 
united with Pennypack. At the church meeting in Phila- 
delphia, held July 8th, 177 1, Rev. Morgan Edwards made 
the following proposal : — 

My Brethren: — I have observed, for some time, that the interest 
does not thrive under my ministration as it was wont to do in years 
past, but is rather dedining. This has given me trouble, and trouble 
that I am less able to bear of any other trouble whatsoever. Accord- 
ingly, I have the last year made this proposal to some of the Brethren, 
viz. : that they should look out for a popular Preacher, and that I 
would resign half my salary in order to enable the church to pay him. 
Things are still in the same situation, and my declining age and the 


present posture of affairs forbid me to hope for better times. I there- 
fore now repeat to the church what I before mentioned to indi- 
viduals, viz.: that you will seek for a Minister suitable to the place; 
and a man of such talents as promise the revival of the interest. On 
this I am much in earnest, and, because in earnest, I do offer you my 
help to find such a man, either in America or Europe, and to bring 
him hither. I also propose to insist on no terms for myself which 
will hinder such an event from coming to pass, and in the meantime 
intend not to leave you destitute, because I seek your good, as a 
Church, and the good of the interest in general more than my own 
private advantage, for the credibility of this I appeal to my whole 
conduct since I have been here and to my former and present pro- 

This resignation was accepted unconditionally. At the 

church meeting in August, Rev. Samuel Stillman, and 

John Davis of Boston, Hezekiah Smith of Haverhill, John 

Gano of New York, Samuel Jones of Pennypack, and 

Oliver Hart of Charleston, were placed in nomination for 

the pastorate. The first one was chosen, and a very urgent 

and cordial letter was sent to him, to which, while on a 

visit to this city, he replied as follows : — 

To the Baptist Church and Congregation in Philadelphia. Dear 
Brethren: — Your call I have received and deliberately considered. 
The application to me, on this occasion, I view as an expression of 
your affection for and confidence in me, for which I am much obliged 
to you. Permit me to assure you that I am sensibly touched with your 
circumstances, and may God send you a pastor after his own heart. 
The arguments with which you urge your invitation to me are weighty, 
and would be sufficient to incline me to accept it and settle among 
you, were I not so closely connected in Boston. A few hints out of 
many that might be given cannot fail of convincing you that it is im- 
practicable for me to leave a people with whom I am so intimately and 
agreeably connected. It may suffice to say that the Lord hath been 
pleased to succeed my imperfect services among the people, inso- 
much that the church has greatly increased and is now increasing. 
I left a considerable number under solemn concern of mind. They 
are also at peace among themselves, and have, for several years, dis- 
covered a warm affection for me. The congregation has become so 
numerous that they have been obliged to pull down the old meeting 
house and to build one much larger. This house they are now 
building for me at a great expense, which they cheerfully endure, 
confiding in me that I will continue among them. Under these cir- 


cumstances I cannot think it my duty, brethren, to leave them, al- 
though it would afford me great pleasure to reside in this my native 
city, among my relations and friends, and to serve you in the Gospel. 
Wishing you grace, mercy and peace from Christ Jesus, I subscribe 
yours in the Faith and Fellowship of the Gospel. 

Philadelphia, November 5, 1771. Samuel Stillman. 

The same year, October i6th, the Northern Liberty 
Church, referred to in the previous chapter, was received 
into the Association with sixteen members. Its numbers 
never increased, and it was supplied with preaching by the 
ministers of the Association. Its name appears on the 
Minutes until 1776, but not thereafter. At this session of 
the Association, the missionary spirit, which, from the very 
first of its history, had been so manifest in the readiness to 
visit destitute churches and settlements culminated in the 
appointment of Rev. Morgan Edwards as an Evangelist. 
He was "sent into remote regions, especially South, to 
preach the Gospel, counsel the feeble churches, and instruct 
the scattered disciples of Christ." This took him from the 
pastorate which for ten years he had ably filled, and during 
which time he had baptized into the fellowship of the 
church one hundred and seventeen persons. The Asso- 
ciation Minutes for 1774 state: "The ministers expressed a 
readiness to supply Philadelphia in case Mr. Edwards 
should proceed in the execution of his public office." That 
his work was successful and appreciated is evident, because 
in 1772, " the thanks of the Association were returned to 
brother Morgan Edwards for his services in travelling and 
visiting the churches to the southward; and the interest of 
the Association fund, for the last year, voted him, together 
with £6 more, made up by the brethren present, and sent 
him by Mr. Samuel Jones." January i, 1770, Rev. Morgan 
Edwards preached a New Year's sermon from the text„ 
" This year thou shalt die." He became possessed of the 
idea that on a certain day of that year he would die, which. 


together with some other irregularities, had an injurious 
effect, and discouraged him in his pastorate, but he con- 
tinued preaching for the Church, until the settlement of 
his successor, an event which in part he was the means of 
bringing about, in connection with Dr. Stillman. In 1772, 
he removed with his family to Newark, Delaware, but still 
retained his connection with the church he had recently 

In December, 1 771, William Rogers, Principal of an 
Academy at Newport, Rhode Island, was induced to visit 
Philadelphia, and continued preaching for the church until 
March 4th, 1772, when he was unanimously called to the 
pastorate. This he accepted, and was ordained on Sunday, 
the 31st of May, following. Mr. Rogers was born in 
Newport, R. I. July 22, 1751. His parents were members 
of the Baptist Church in that town. Having gone through 
a preparatory course in Grafton, Mass., he entered the 
Freshman Class of Brown University, in September, 1765, 
and graduated with the first class from that institution in 
1769. The following year he was converted to God, was 
baptized by Rev. Gardiner Thurston, and was received as a 
member of the Second Baptist Church of Newport, by 
prayer and the imposition of hands. In August, 1771, this 
Church licensed him to preach the Gospel, and dismissed 
him by letter to Philadelphia, April 14, 1772. The sermon 
on the occasion of his ordination was preached by Rev. 
Isaac Eaton, from the words, "Who is sufficient for these 
things?" This was the last sermon he ever preached, for 
he died July 4th, 1772, and this text was the first one that 
Mr. Rogers ever preached from. When we remember that 
Isaac Eaton was the first Baptist to found an Academy in 
America, from which really sprang Brown University, also 
that William Rogers was a member of the first graduating 
class of that University, it was eminently appropriate that 


the above sermon should be preached by Mr. Eaton in the 
very church edifice where Brown University was practi- 
tically projected. It was singular that the last sermon of 
this good and useful educator among the Baptists of this 
country should have been delivered amidst circumstances 
of such peculiar interest. 

God's blessing attended the settlement of Mr. Rogers, 
from the very first, for, on the 8th of June following his 
ordination, five persons narrated their experience for bap- 
tism, one of these, John Levering, was the first person bap- 
tized by Mr. Rogers. He became a constituent member 
and for forty years an honored deacon of the Roxborough 
Baptist Church, of this city. By the following October 
twenty-three persons had been received into the First 
Church by baptism, and the membership increased to one 
hundred and sixty-four. It was the custom of the church 
then, as previously, to admit all members after baptism *'by 
prayer and laying on of hands." 

October 17, 1772, Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley, on account 
of failing health, tendered his resignation as Professor of 
Rhetoric in the University of Pennsylvania. His resigna- 
tion was accepted, and on the minutes of the Board of 
Trustees of the University, under date of February 23, 
1773, is the following record: — 

The College suffers greatly since Mr. Kinnersley left it, for want of 
a person to teach public speaking, so that the present class have not 
those opportunities to declaim and speak which have been of so much 
use to their predecessors, and have contributed greatly to aid the credit 
of the Institution. 

He died July, 1778, and was buried in the grave-yard 

at Pennypack. His tombstone bears the following simple 

inscription : — 

In memory of the 

Rev. Ebenezer Kinnersley, 

who died July 4, 1778, 

aged 67 years. 


A memorial window to his memory has been placed in 
one of the buildings of the University. 

The persecutions of the Baptists in Massachusetts still 
continued. The letter from the Warren to the Philadelphia 
Association, in 1773, stated, "Our sufferings in Boston 
government on religious accounts still continue in several 
places ; a particular narrative of which is to be printed, with 
a fair representation of the treatment which the Baptists 
have met with in said government in time past." For these 
persecuted Baptists of New England, their brethren in 
Philadelphia ever felt the deepest interest, and manifested 
the most profound sympathy. 

That year, in order that the scattered churches of the 
Association might more easily reach the sessions, it was 
resolved, thereafter, that said body should hold two meet- 
ings a year, one in May, in New York, and the other 
in October, in Philadelphia. This plan was carried into 
effect in 1774, but it was not found practical, so, at the 
meeting in October, the project was annulled. 

Rev. Samuel Jones, of Pennypack, in connection with his 
ministerial work, commenced an academy in his own resi- 
dence, for the instruction of young men in theology. 
Several of our early ministers received their first instruction 
in divinity there. Among these were Burgis Allison, who 
was born in Bordentown, N. J., August 17th, 1753, and 
baptized at Upper Freehold, in the same state, in October, 
1769. In 1774 he repaired to the school of Mr. Jones' 
where he received a classical, and, to some extent, a theo- 
logical education. June ist, 1776, he was received by letter 
into the Pennypack church, by which he was licensed to 
preach April 27th, 1777. He was ordained there June loth, 
1 78 1, and became pastor of the newly organized church in 
his native town. 



September 5th, 1774, the first Continental Congress met 
in Philadelphia, at Carpenter's Hall. The grievances of the 
brethren in New England had become so severe that it was 
concluded to lay the matter before that body. At a meet- 
ing of representatives of twenty Baptist churches, held at 
Medfield, near Boston, September 14th, Rev. Isaac Backus 
was selected to proceed to Philadelphia, for this object. 


" Mr. Backus," says Hovey, in his " Life and Times" of 
this indefatigable laborer for soul liberty, ''began his 
journey on the 26th of September; it occupied nearly a 
fortnight. At Providence he met with Elders Gano and 
Van Home, who went on with him by land. Old Mr. 
Chileab Smith joined them at Norwich, prepared to testify 
of the oppressions at Ashfield. On the 8th of October they 


arrived in Philadelphia, and Mr. Backus was kindly enter- 
tained at the house of Mr. Samuel Davis. On the morrow, 
it being the Lord's day, he preached three times in the 
pulpit of Rev. William Rogers. His diary indicates suffi- 
ciently the course of events during the next few days ": — 

" Monday, October loth, visited Robert Strettle Jones, 
Esq., in the forenoon, and Mr. Joseph Moulder in the after- 
noon — gentlemen who were desirous of knowing how our 
affairs were in New England, and who seem willing to exert 
themselves in our favor. 

"Oct. nth, our Elders Manning and Jones arrived with 
others, and we held a meeting at Esquire Jones' in the 
evening, where were Israel and James Pemberton and 
Joseph Fox, principal men among the Quakers, with other 
gentlemen. I then laid open our condition in New England, 
and asked their advice, whether to lay the case before Con- 
gress or not. They advised us not to address Congress as 
a body, at present, but to seek for a conference with the 
Massachusetts delegates, together with some other members 
who were known to be friendly to religious liberty. They 
also manifested a willingness to be helpful in our case." 

"Oct. 1 2th, spent the forenoon with Esquire Jones in draw- 
ing up a memorial of our case to lay before the conference. In 
the afternoon the Philadelphia Association met in that city, 
continuing in session three days. Before closing it, made 
choice of a committee of grievances to correspond with 
ours in New England, and to prosecute such measures for 
our relief as they should judge best." 

The proceedings of the Association on this matter are 
thus given in the minutes : — 

The case of our brethren suffering under ecclesiastical oppression 
in New P2ngland being taken into consideration, it was agreed to 
recommend our churches to contribute to their necessities, agreeable 
to the pattern of the primitive churches, who contributed to the relief 
of the distressed brethren in Judea. And that the money raised for 


them be remitted to Mr. Backus, to be by him, in conjunction with 
the committee of advice in said colony, distributed to the brethren. 

The case of our brethren above considered, induced us to appoint 
a committee of grievances, who may, from time to time, receive 
accounts of the sufferings and difficulties of our friends and brethren 
in the neighboring colonies ; and meet as often as shall appear need- 
ful in the city of Philadelphia, to consult upon and prosecute such 
measures for their relief as they shall judge most expedient; and may 
correspond with the Baptist committee in the Massachusetts Bay, or 
elsewhere. Accordingly, the following gentlemen were appointed, 
viz. : Robert Strettle Jones, Esq., Mr. Samuel Davis, Mr. Stephen 
Shewel, Mr. Thomas Shields, Mr. George Wescott, Alexander 
Edwards, Esq., Benjamin Bartholomew, Esq., John Evans, Esq., 
JohnMayhew, Esq., Edward Keasley, Esq., Rev. Samuel Jones, A.M., 
Rev. Morgan Edwards, A. M., Rev. William Vanhorn, A. M., Mr. 
Abraham Beakley, Abel Evans, Esq., Samuel Miles, Esq., Mr. 
James Morgan and Mr. John Jarman. Any five of them to be a 

" October 14th," says Backus, in his diary, " in the 
evening, there met at Carpenter's Hall Thomas Gushing, 
Samuel Adams and Robert Treat Paine, Esqs., delegates 
from Massachusetts ; and there were also present James 
Kinzie, of New Jersey ; Stephen Hopkins and Samuel Ward, 
of Rhode Island ; Joseph Galloway and Thomas Mifflin, 
Esq., of Pennsylvania; and other members of Gongress. 
Mr. Rhodes, Mayor of the city of Philadelphia, Israel and 
James Pemberton, and Joseph Fox, Esqrs., of the Quakers, 
and other gentlemen, also Elders Manning, Gano, Jones, 
Rogers, Edwards, etc., were present. The conference was 
opened by Mr. Manning, who made a short speech, and then 
read the memorial which was drawn up." 

This very important historical document, drawn up in 
Philadelphia, is as follows : — 

It has been said by a celebrated writer in politics, that but two 
things were worth contending for, — Religion and Liberty. For the 
latter we are at present nobly exerting ourselves through all this ex- 
tensive continent, and surely no one whose bosom feels the patriot 
glow in behalf of civil liberty, can remain torpid to the more ennobling 
flame of Religious Freedom. The free exercise of private judg- 


ment and the unalienable rights of conscience, are of too high a rank 
and dignity to be subjected to the decrees of councils, or the imper- 
fect laws of fallible legislators. The merciful Father of mankind is 
the alone Lord of conscience. Establishments may be able to confer 
worldly distinctions, but cannot create Christians. They have been 
reared by craft or power, but liberty never flourished perfectly under 
their control. That liberty, virtue and public happiness can be sup- 
ported without them, this flourishing province [Pennsylvania] is a 
glorious testimony, and a view of it would be sufficient to invalidate 
all the most elaborate arguments ever adduced in support of them. 
Happy in the enjoyment of these undoubted rights, and conscious of 
their high import, every lover of mankind must be desirous, as far as 
opportunity offers, of extending and securing the enjoyment of these 
inestimable blessings. 

These reflections have arisen from considering the unhappy situa- 
tion of our brethren, the Baptists, in the province of Massachusetts 
Bay, for whom we now appear as advocates, and from the important 
light in which liberty in general is now beheld, we trust our repre- 
sentation will be effectual. The province of Massachusetts Bay, 
being settled by persons who fled from civil and rehgious oppression, 
it would be natural to imagine them deeply impressed with the value 
of liberty, and nobly scorning a domination of conscience. But such 
was the complexion of the times, they fell from the unhappy state of 
being oppressed, to the more deplorable and ignoble one of becoming 
oppressors. But these things being passed over, we intend to begin 
with the charter obtained at the happy restoration. This charter 
grants that there shall be liberty of conscience allowed in the worship 
of God, to all Christians except Papists, inhabiting or which shall in- 
habit or be resident within this province or territory, or in the words 
of the late Governor Hutchinson, '' We find nothing in the new char- 
ter of an ecclesiastical constitution. Liberty of conscience is granted 
to all except ' Papists.' " The first General Court that met under this 
charter returned their thanks for the following sentiment delivered 
before them : — That the magistrate is most properly the officer of 
human society, that a Christian by nonconformity to this or that im- 
posed way of worship, does not break the terms upon which he is 
to enjoy the benefits of human society, and that a man has a right to 
his estate, his liberty, and his family, notwithstanding his noncon- 
formity. And on this declaration the historian who mentions it, 
plumes himself as if the whole future system of an impartial admin- 
istration was to begin. By laws made during the first charter, such 
persons only were entitled to vote for civil rulers as were church 
members. This might be thought by some to give a shadow of eccle- 
siasticalpower ; but by the present [charter] '^ every freeholder of 
thirty pounds sterhng per annum, and every other inhabitant who 


has forty pounds personal estate, are voters for representatives." So 
there seems an evident foundation to presume they are only elected 
for the preservation ot civil rights, and the management of temporal 
concernments. Nevertheless they soon began to assume the power of 
establishing Congregational worship, and taxed all the inhabitants 
towards its support, and no act was passed to exempt other denom- 
inations from the year 1692 to 1727, when the Episcopalians were 
permitted to enjoy their rights. 

The first act for the relief of the Baptists was in 1728, when their 
polls only were exempted from taxation, and not their estates, and 
then only of such as lived within five miles of a Baptist Meeting 
House. The next year, 1729, thirty persons were apprehended and 
confined in Bristol Jail, some Churchmen, some Friends, but most of 
the Baptist denomination. Roused by these oppressions, the Baptists 
and Quakers petitioned the General Court ; being determined, if they 
could not obtain redress, to apply to his Majesty in council. Where- 
fore the same year, a law was passed exempting their estates and 
polls ; but clogged however with a limitation, for less than five years. 
At the expiration of this act, in 1733, our brethren were obliged again 
to apply to the General Assembly, upon which a third act was passed, 
1734, exempting Baptists from paying ministerial taxes. This third 
act was more clear, accurate and better drawn than any of the former, 
but for want of a penalty on the returning officer, badly executed, 
subjecting our brethren to many hardships and oppressions. This 
act expired in 1740, and another was made for seven years, but still 
liable to the same defects. In 1747 the Baptists and Friends, wearied 
with fruitless applications to the assemblies, once more proposed ap- 
plying at home for relief, when the laws exempting them were reen- 
acted for ten years, the longest space ever granted. To show what 
the liberty was that these unhappy people enjoyed, it will be neces- 
sary, though we aim as much as possible at brevity, just to mention 
that if at any time a Baptist sued a collector for the breach of these 
laws, any damages he recovered were laid on the town and the Bap- 
tists residing therein were thereby obliged to pay their proportionate 
part towards his indemnification. At this time such an instance oc- 
curred in the case of Sturbridge, when Jonathan Perry sued the col- 
lector, Jonathan Mason, and the damages were sustained by the 
town, though the Baptists in town meeting dissented. And here it 
may not be improper to observe, that the judges and jury are under 
the strangest bias to determine for the defendants. In the beginning 
of the year 1759. ^^ ^^t was passed, breaking in upon the time lim- 
ited, enacting that " no minister or member of an Anabaptist Church 
shall be esteemed qualified to give certificates, other than such as 
shall have obtained, from three other churches commonly called Ana- 
baptist, in this or the neighboring Provinces, a certificate from each 


respectively, that they esteem such church of their denomination, and 
that they conscientiously believe them to be Anabaptist. 

But not to take too much of your time, we would here just observe 
that all the laws have been made temporary, and without any penalty 
on the collector or assessors for the breach of the law passed at the 
last June session, as it has been generally understood to be so formed 
as to take away complaint and establish a general liberty of con- 
science, this act is like all others, temporary, and indeed limited to a 
shorter duration than most of them, being only for three years. It is 
without any penalty on the breach of it, and an additional trouble and 
expense is enjoined by recording the certificates every year, (though 
in some others obtaining one certificate during the existence of the 
law was sufficient) and concludes thus : ' that nothing in this act 
shall be construed to exempt any proprietor of any new township from 
paying his part and portion with the major part of the other proprie- 
tors of such new townships, in settling a minister and building a 
meeting-house, which hath been or shall be required as a condition of 
their grant. 

And here we would just add a few words relative to the affairs at 
Ashfield. On the 26th day of December next, three lots of land 
belonging to people of our denomination, will be exposed for sale; 
one of them for the payment of so small a sum as ten shillings eleven 
pence. Although we have given but two instances of oppression un- 
der the above laws, yet a great number can be produced, well attested 
when called for. 

Upon this short statement of facts we would observe, that the 
charter must be looked upon by every impartial eye to be infringed, 
so soon as any law was passed for the establishment of any particular 
mode of worship. All Protestants are planted upon the same footing, 
and no law whatever could disannul so essential a part of a charter 
intended to communicate the blessings of a free goverment to his 
Majesty's subjects. Under the first charter, as was hinted, church- 
membership conferred the rights of a freeman; but by the second, 
the possession of property was the foundation. Therefore, how could 
it be supposed that the collective body of the people intended to confer 
any other power upon their representatives than that of making laws 
relative to property and the concerns of this life. 

*' Men unite in society," according to the great Mr. Locke, ''with 
an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty 
and property. The power of the society, or Legislature constituted 
by them, can never be supposed to extend any further than the com- 
mon good, but is obliged to secure everyone's property.'' To give 
laws, to receive obedience, to compel with the sword, belong to none 
but the civil magistrate, and on this ground we affirm that the mag- 
istrate's power extends not to the establishing any articles of faith or 


forms of worship, by force of laws ; for laws are of no force without 
penalties. The care of souls cannot belong to the civil magistrate, 
because his power consists only in outward force ; but pure and saving 
religion consists in the inward persuasion of the mind, without which 
nothing can be acceptable to God. 

It is a just position, and cannot be too firmly established, that we 
can have no property in that whi(.h another may take, when he plea- 
ses, to himself, neither can we have the proper enjoyment of our re- 
ligious liberties, (which must be acknowledged to be of greater,) if 
held by the same unjust and capricious tenure ; and this must appear 
to be the case when temporary laws pretend to grant relief so very in- 

It may now be asked — What is the liberty desired? The answer 
is, as the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, and religion is a 
concern between God and the so<il, with which no human authority 
can intermeddle, consistently with the principles of Christianity, and 
according to the dictates of Protestantism, we claim and expect the 
liberty of worshipping God according to our consciences, not being 
obliged to support a ministry we cannot attend, whilst we demean 
ourselves as faithful subjects. These we have an undoubted right to, as 
men, as Christians, and by charter as inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay. 

The conduct of the Massachusetts delegates at this 
conference was not very friendly to the Baptists, so much 
were their minds warped by the religious tyrannies com- 
plained of. The truth is, these delegates, subsequently 
known among the great statesmen of our country, did not 
yet grasp the full idea of liberty of conscience for which 
Baptists then, as ever, were pleading. Their minds only 
comprehended liberty as freedom from the domination of 
the British Throne. They did not rise to the great height 
for which Baptists were aiming, viz : Soul Liberty. It is 
not in a spirit of egotism, but that of utmost candor, when 
we affirm, that to this stand under God, taken by the Bap- 
tists, the people of this country owe their Religious Liberty, 
more than to any other influence. How far prejudice will 
carry even good men, however, will be indicated by John 
Adams' account of the above conference in Carpenter's 
Hall. It is as follows : — 

^'Governor Hopkins and Governor Ward, of Rhode Island, came to 
our lodgings and said to us that President Manning, of Rhode Island 


College, and Mr. Backus, of Massachusetts, were in town, and had 
conversed with some gentlemen in Philadelphia, and wished we would 
meet them at six in the evening, at Carpenter's Hall. Whether they 
explained their designs more particularly to any of my colleagues I 
know not, but I had no idea of the design. We all went at the hour, 
and, to my great surprise, found the hall almost full of people, and a 
great number of Quakers seated at the long table, with their broad- 
brimmed beavers on their heads. We were invited to seats among 
them, and informed that they had received complaints from some 
Anabaptists and some Friends in Massachusetts, against certain laws 
of that province restrictive of the liberty of conscience, and some 
instances were mentioned in the general court and in the courts of 
justice in which Friends and Anabaptists had been grievously 
oppressed. I know not how my colleagues felt, being, like my friend 
Chase, naturally quick and warm, at seeing our state and her delegates 
thus summoned before a self-created tribunal, which was neither legal 
nor constitutional. 

'' Israel Pemberton, a Quaker, of large property and more intrigue, 
began to speak, and said that Congress were here endeavouring to 
form a union of the colonies ; but there were difficulties in the way, 
and none of more importance than liberty of conscience. The laws of 
New England, and particularly of Massachusetts, were inconsistent 
with it, for they not only compelled men to pay to the building of 
churches and support ministers, but to some known religious assembly 
on first days, etc. ; and that he and his friends were desirous of 
engaging us to assure them that our state would repeal all those laws 
and place things as they are in Pennsylvania. 

A suspicion instantly arose in my mind, which I have ever believed 
to have been well founded, that this artful Jesuit, for I had been 
apprised before of his character, was endeavoring to avail himself of 
this opportunity to break up the Congress or, at least, withdraw the 
Quakers and the governing part of Pennsylvania from us ; for, at that 
time, by means of a most unequal representation, the Quakers had a 
majority in the House of Assembly, and, by consequence, the whole 
power of the state in their hands. I arose and spoke in answer to 
him. The substance of what I said was, that we had no authority to 
bind our constituents to any such proposals; that the laws of Massa- 
chusetts were of the most mild and equitable establishment; that it would 
be in vain for us to enter into any conference on such a subject, for we 
knew beforehand our constituents would disavow all we could do or 
say for the satisfaction of those who invited us to this meeting. That 
the people of Massachusetts were as religious and consciencious as the 
people of Pennsylvania ; that their conscience dictated to them that it 
was their duty to support those laws, and, therefore, that very liberty 
of conscience which Mr. Pemberton invoked would demand in- 


diligence for the tender consciences of the people of Massachusetts, 
and allow them to preserve their laws ; that it might be depended on 
this was a point that could not be carried ; that I would deceive them 
by insinuating the faintest hope, for I knew they might as well turn 
the heavenly bodies out of their annual and diurnal courses as the 
people of Massachusetts at the present day from their meeting-house 
and Sunday laws. Pemberton made no reply but this, ' Oh, sir, 
pray don't urge liberty of conscience in favor of such laws.' If I had 
but known the particular complaints which were to have been alleged, 
and if Pemberton had not broken irregularly into the midst of things, 
it might have been better, perhaps to have postponed this declaration. 
However, the gentleman proceeded and stated the particular cases of 
oppression which were alleged in our general and executive courts. 
It happened that Mr. Gushing and Mr. Samuel Adams had been 
present in the general court when the petitions had been under 
deliberation, and they explained the whole so clearly that every reason- 
able man must have been satisfied. Mr. Paine and I had been con- 
cerned at the bar in every action in the executive courts which was 
complained of, and we explained them all to the entire satisfaction of 
impartial men, and showed that there had been no oppression or 
injustice in any of them. In his diary, Mr. Adams describes the 
affair thus, " In the evening we were invited to an interview at Car- 
penter's Hall, with the Quakers and Anabaptists. Mr. Backus is come 
here from Middleborough with a design to apply to the Congress for 
a redress of grievances of the anti-pedo-baptists in our Province. 
The cases from Chelmsford, the case of Mr. White, ot Haverhill, the 
case of Ashfield and Warwick were mentioned by Mr. Backus. Old 
Israel Pemberton was quite rude, and his rudeness was resented ; but 
the conference, which held till eleven o'clock, I hope will produce good." 

The evening succeeding the above conference, the com- 
mittee appointed by the Philadelphia Association held a 
meeting, and in the account of their proceedings say, " We 
think it did appear that the delegates from Boston were 
determined to support the claim the Legislature made to a 
right to make penal laws in matters of religion." It was 
further resolved, " That the committee, not being satisfied 
with the declaration made last evening by the delegates 
from Massachusetts Bay, are determined to pursue every 
prudent measure to obtain a full and complete redress for 
all grievances, for our brethren in New England." 

Arrangements were also made to supply each of the 


delegates with a copy of the Memorial read by Dr. Manning, 
a copy of the above resolution and a copy of Dr. Backus' 
" Appeal to the Public." These documents and the conduct 
of the " Committee on Grievances " exerted a powerful in- 
fluence in the direction desired, even though the course 
pursued and the object desired by the brethren from New 
England was grossly misrepresented by the dominant church 
party in that quarter as well as by the Delegates in Congress 
from Boston and vicinity. 

Meetings for fasting and prayer were now held in the 
churches of the Philadelphia Association four times a year, 
and the men yearned in soul for entire liberty of conscience 
as much as for freedom from the increasing tyrannies of 
Great Britain. At the Association, in 1 77 5, Rev. Samuel 
Stillman was present, and was probably supplying the pulpit 
of the First Church. His name is given in the minutes as 
though he was actually pastor of the Church. Rev. William 
Rogers resigned the pastorate in March, but continued to 
supply the pulpit until the following June, in conjunction 
with Thomas Fleeson, a licentiate of the Church. 


CHAPTER XII.— 1776-1780. 


WE now reach the ever memorable year of 1776, 
during which, on the Fourth of July, the Declara- 
tion of American Independence was adopted in Independence 
Hall. How much -the Baptists had to do with bringing 
about the passage of that glorious instrument and its grand 
results, Dr. William Cathcart, of this city, has ably shown 
in his work, entitled, " The Baptists and the American 

The Philadelphia Association was to have been held, this 
year, in New York, but owing to the troubles in the country, 
a more retired place was selected ; hence it met at Scotch 
Plains, New Jersey. That year the membership of the 
four churches in the city and county of Philadelphia 
amounted to 361. The following is from the minutes of 

This Association, taking into consideration the awful impending 
calamities of these times, and deeply impressed with a sense of our 
duty to humble ourselves before God, by acknowledging our manifold 
sins, and imploring his pardon and interposition in favor of our dis- 
tressed country ; and also to beseech Him to grant that such blessings 
may accompany the means of His grace that a revival of pure and 
undefiled religion may universally prevail : 

Resolved^ That it be, and is hereby recommended to our churches, 




to observe four da}s of humiliation in the year ensuing, by prayer, 
abstinence from food, and labor, and recreations, lawful on other 
days. The days proposed for humiliation, are the Fridays before the 
last Lord's day in November, February, May and August. 

Our denomination in these parts took the side of the 
Colonies against the Mother Country, and there are on 
record many illustrations of their patriotism and loyalty. 
In March, 1776, the General Assembly of Pennsylvania 
voted to organize three battalions of foot, for the defence of 
the Province, and appointed Rev. William Rogers, late 
pastor of the First Church, to be the sole Chaplain of the 
said forces. " In June, 1778, he was promoted to a Brigade 
Chaplaincy in the Continental Army, which office he con- 
tinued to hold till June, 1781, when he retired from military 
service altogether." 

Burgis Allison, a licentiate of the Pennypack Church, 
when the British were in possession of Philadelphia, exerted 
his ingenuity, as well as manifested his patriotism, by pre- 
paring kegs containing explosive substances, which were 
floated down the Delaware river for the destruction of the 
British men-of-war, lying at anchor near this city. 

After the passage of the " Boston Port Bill," in 1774, 
John Pitman moved from that city, where he was a member 
of the First Baptist Church, to Philadelphia, and became a 
member of one of the Baptist churches here. During three 
years he was engaged in secular business, but in 1776 he 
joined a volunteer company, consisting principally of 
Quakers, and thereafter, with Christian firmness, patriotism 
and piety, he was identified with the colonists. As early as 
1777 we find him preaching the gospel in various parts of 
New Jersey, and on October 12, 1777, he became pastor at 
Upper Freehold. July 30, 1778, there is a record in the 
minutes of the Pennypack Church which is significant of 
that church's patriotism. It is as follows : — 

Elizabeth Foster suspended until she shall clear herself of the 


charge of sending the English army, or a detachment of it, to plunder 
Captain Lanehlen. 

In 1777 there was no meeting of the Association, in con- 
sequence of the ravages of war, and Philadelphia being 
occupied by the British troops. In 1778 it was held at 
Hopewell, N. J., and for the next five successive years at 
Philadelphia. After 1776, until 1 78 1, no statistics of the 
churches are given in the minutes of the Association. The 
meetings were characterized by a devotional spirit rather than 
that of business. All felt the depressing circumstances of 
the country. 

What was the exact condition of the church in Phila- 
delphia from May 8, 1775, to August 16, 1779, is very 
difficult to determine, as there are no church minutes extant 
of that period. It was owing to the war, the absence of 
many members in the army, the high prices of all the neces- 
saries of life, and the long occupation of the city by the 
British army. At the latter date we find Rev. James 
Manning, of Rhode Island, with them. He had come to 
Philadelphia to learn about the financial plans of Congress' 
with special reference to the interests of Brown University, 
and finding the Baptist church in such a sad condition, he 
devoted some three weeks to their interests. Between 
Providence and Philadelphia he visited many churches. 
His wife accompanied him on this visit. The account of 
this trip is given in his diary very minutely, relative to 
Philadelphia. From Guild's Memoir of him we quote the 
following, which will be in place: — 

Monday, June 28. Set out and travelled [from Southampton] to 
Pennypack, Mr. Jones', [Rev. Samuel Jones]. Arrived in the even- 
ing, and found the family well and glad to see us. Tarried here until 
July 2 ; spent the time agreeably in viewing the farm, its products, 
harvests, etc., and in conversation. The season here extremely hot; 
height of wheat harvest ; the grain struck with the red rust, though 
little injured, except the rye, which is much blasted. The greatest 
part of the harvest between here and Philadelphia, where we arrived 


at eleven o'clock A. M., July 2, is gathered. Put up at Mr. Goforth's, 
[a member of the Baptist church] and my horse across the way, in 
Second street,bet\veen Race and Vine streets. Visited Samuel Davis, 
[Deacon of the church] but he was out of town ; also Mr. Rogers. 
Called at Mr. Watkins' [formerly a deacon of the church]; then at Mr. 
Wescott's [a deacon of the church]; from thence to Dr. Rush's [one 
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence], who treated me 
politely; from thence called on Messrs. Shields and Moulder [Baptists], 
Called at Mr. Hart's lodgings, but he was out, which was also the case 
at Mr. Robert Jones'. The evening of July 2, Mr. Joseph Hart, of 
the Executive Council, spent at my lodgings. 

Saturday, July 3. This morning came out a paper, in which 
Congress was handled pretty severely, under the signature of Leonidas. 
Breakfasted at Dr. Rush's, and received two hundred dollars. Dr. 
Finley's draft on him. Spent the afternoon chiefly in writing to 
Providence, by Mr. Ellery, who sets off this afternoon. Went to the 
State House ; met Mr. Collins, and inquired, without much satisfaction, 
what was on foot in Congress, relative to money. Dined at Mr. Red- 
wood's with Mr. Ellery, and returned to my lodgings, where were 
Messrs. Shields and Connolly, who spent the afternoon with us. 

Lord^s Day, July 4. Preached twice with some freedom ; the morn- 
ing congregation thin ; more in the afternoon. Both church and 
society here in a broken state. The people urgent for my tarrying a 
considerable time, which did not suit my affairs. In the evening I 
visited one of the members of the church near her end ; appeared to 
be in a happy frame of mind Attended a religious society composed 
of Baptists, Presbyterians and church people. They appeared very 
serious and somewhat engaged in religion. Found Gen. Spencer at 
my lodgings, now a member of Congress. It being Fourth of July, 
the anniversary of Independence, the Chaplains of Congress preached 
suitable to the occasion, and Congress attended. High mass was 
celebrated and Te Deum sung at the Romish chapel. The gentlemen 
of the town were invited by billets, from the French minister, to 
attend. T suppose these causes rendered the Baptist meetings thinner 
than otherwise. The lowering of prices by the committee is con- 
sidered by the town as a violent measure and only a temporary relief, 
but think it will share the fate of former state bills. The suburbs of this 
city greatly destroyed by the English, but the body of it not much 
damaged. A fine rain on the night of the Fourth. Some more 
apples in these parts than in the Jerseys. 

Monday, July 5. Breakfasted at Mr. Shields, where a committee 
from the church met and importuned me to tarry with them some 
time, or come again and make them a longer visit. I gave them hopes 
of the latter after the four Sabbaths of this month. Went to Mr. 
David Bower's, and thence to Mr. Moulder's ; then to hear the oration 


at the Dutch church ; the performance indifferent. Congress and the 
French Ambassador present, and a large assembly. Here met Mr. 
Merchant and called at his lodgings. Received an invitation to dine 
at Prof. Lawren's, but we dined at Mr. Wescott's. Returned to our 
lodgings. Were visted by Messrs. Shields, Britain, and Gen. Spencer. 
Set out in the afternoon for Mr. Jones' [Rev. Samuel Jones], where 
we arrived in the evening. The weather intensely hot. 

Tuesday, July 6. Tarried at Mr. Jones', and set out on the yth 
for Bordentown. 

The above record indicates a busy nine days in Phila- 
delphia. On Tuesday, the 27th, he again reached Rev, 
Samuel Jones', and on the 29th came into the city. We 
quote again from his diary : — 

Put up my horse at Mr. Shields', called on some friends, and took 
quarters at Mr. Samuel Davis'. 

Friday, July 30. Visited some friends in town. 

Saturday, 31st. Saw the British prisoners taken at Stony Point, 
march in ; fine looking men. Dined at Mr Goforth's. 

Sunday, August ist. Preached twice. The'congregation pretty 
large— more so than usual here,— and yery attentive. Spent the 
evening at a religious conference, where there seemed a degree of 
of quickening and freedom. 

August 2nd. A storm of rain from the northeast, which contin- 
ued the next day ; heat intense. I tarried mostly at my lodgings. 

August 4th. Wrote letters to Providence, to the church and 
Nicholas Brown. 

August 5th. The account of the defeat of the British by the 
French fleet in the West Indies arrived. Spent the evening at 
Major Goforth's, in company with several gentlemen. Here I met 
Major Somner, ten days from Providence, who tells me that things 
are agreeable in that quarter, which I was also informed of by a 
letter from. General Varnum, received yesterday. G. Brigade is come 
to headquarters, which I heard by a line from Van Horn, at the same 

Friday 6th. Delivered my letters to Mr. Somner. This day Mr. 
Edwards called upon me, and tarried in town several days. Saw 
General Spencer and Mr. Collins. Abundance of rumors concerning 
the West India affair. Visited in town in the forenoon. 

Saturday 7th. Went with Mr. Edwards to Captain Falkner's, 
five miles, and spent the afternoon agreeably. 

Sunday, August 8th. Preached three times. The assembly full, 
and the people so importunate for another Sabbath that I concluded 
to stay. 


Monday, August ^ih. Messrs. Jones, Blackwell, and Nathaniel 
Stout came to town ; the former tarried with me one night. 

Tuesday, August loth. Mr. Edwards, in company with Jones 
and myself, set out for Colonel Miles. Distance thirteen miles. 
Arrived in the evening, and he and lady next morning, from town. 
He has a most elegant seat, gardens, meadows, etc., and a most re- 
markable spring, which turns three wheels in one fourth of a mile 
from its source. Spent three days very agreeably, and on the 13th, 
set out for town, Mr. Edwards returning with Mr. Jones. The 
weather extremely hot, and abundance of rain. The Indian corn 
incomparably fine, the buckwheat forward, and the second crop of 
grass cutting. This is an agreeable part of the country. Preached 
this evening. 

Saturday, August 14th. Visited Major Goforth's, paid my barber; 
received one hundred dollars of Mr. Rogers, as per order ; called at 
Mr. Morris' and dined at Mr. Ball's. 

Swiday, August 15th. Extremely hot. Preached twice, attended 
the funeral of a child, and drank chocolate at Mr. Turner's. Richard 
Lemon and both the McKims, from Baltimore, at meeting. 

Monday, August i6th. Visited Mr. Moulders, and attended the 
meeting of the church and society, who unanimously agreed to get 
the pulpit supplied. Chose a committee of eight, half from the 
church and half from the society, to raise the necessary supplies for 
that purpose, and to call Mr. Gano for one year. At two o'clock set 
out for Mr. Jones. Preached at Pennepek at five o'clock. Tarried 
with Mr. Jones and Mr. Edwards. The weather intensely hot; 
though the season uncommonly wet. 

Tuesday^ August 17th. Set out for Bordentown. 

During the stay of Rev. James Manning in this city, he 
aided very materially in gathering together the scattered 
forces of the Baptist Church, and in preparing the way for 
the regular ministry of the word amongst them again. As 
an illustration of the price of living here then, the church 
paid fifty dollars a week for his board. The following letter 
addressed to Rev. Messrs. Still and Miller, will indicate the 
feelings of and throw some light upon the trials through 
which the church had passed during those fearful years : — 

Sir, we need not inform you that we have been for a long time as 
sheep having no shepherd, and the consequence has been that we 
have strayed one from another. But your late visit amongst us 
seemed to cause some shaking among the dry bones, and could you 


have stayed longer, doubt not but the divine flame would have be- 
come more universal. And we can with pleasure inform you that, 
during Mr. Manning's stay amongst us, the church and congregation 
were considerably collected together, and there appeared more love 
and unity than we have seen for some time past, which is a matter of 
encouragement to us, to use our best endeavours to have the pulpit 
supplied in future. Before Mr. Manning left us the church and 
congregation were called together to consult on ways and means for 
supplying the pulpit, till we can get a minister to settle amongst us. 
At which time a committee was chosen, and a subscription opened to 
enable the committee to defray the expenses of supplies. Therefore 
in the name and behalf of the church and congregation we their com- 
mittee earnestly solicit you to visit us as soon as you possibly can, 
that a vacancy may be prevented, and if you and Mr. Miller could 
supply us till the Association, we believe it would be agreeable to all, 
and would willingly flatter ourselves, that you would have reason to 
say at the close that it was good for you that you came amongst us. 
And as you minister to us in spiritual, we hope our hearts will be en- 
larged so as to minister to you of our temporal things. We mean to 
provide lodgings, and use our best endeavors to make you comfortable 
during your stay with us. We hope therefore you will take the mat- 
ter into your serious consideration, and that God may influence you in 
our favor is and shall be the prayer of your brethren in the Gospel. 

Sio-ned 5 GEORGE Wescott, 
Philadelphia, Aug. 25th, 1779. ^ ' ( Samuel Davis. 

In 1778, an invitation was extended to Rev. John Gano, 
a brother in law of Rev. James Manning, to settle as their 
pastor, but the condition and prospects of the field were so 
uninviting that he declined. In September, 1779, another 
very long and earnest letter was written to him, entreating 
him by every consideration to come and settle with them. 
Two copies of this letter were sent, one to his family in 
New Jersey and the other to the army, as it was uncertain 
just where he was at the time. As to the straits to which 
the church was put about this time may be learned from 
the following Minute dated November 6, 1779: — 

Joseph Watkins is desired to get the broken panes of the Baptist 
Church filled up with boards. 

Rev. John Gano replied at length to the call of the 
church, which he was compelled to decline. His letter, con- 


sidering all its contents and the time at which it was written, 

is a valuable historical document and throws some light 

upon the trials then endured even by the men prominent 

in the Christian ministry. Mr. Gano was an able divine, a 

true patriot, a fine specimen of a Christian man, and loyal 

to the great principles of the Baptist denomination. The 

letter was penned in Philadelphia, as follows : — 

I have received your call, have considered its contents, for and 
sympathize with you and the cause you are pained for the promotion 
of in this place. I thank you for the respect expressed therein, and 
think the more of it as you have long known me. Nineteen years 
ago I served this church steadily for a season, my defects and the ex- 
penses of my family were then known and borne with, the time being 
expired, and your expected supply coming from abroad, you had no 
further need of my services. Then I accepted a call to New York. 
Christian friendship has continued. Yet suffer me now to remark with- 
out feigned humility, I was then in my own esteem unequal to the 
place, although then in the prime, now in the decline of life, my fam- 
ily then small, now large and more expensive ; the church, probably 
from its late political difficulties, the death and removal of members, 
the heavy taxes of the times, may be less able to bear the charge of a 
family like mine, who having been long unsettled, and flying from place 
to place, which, with losses and expenses, without the advantage of 
replacing, are reduced to an appearance however neighborly like, in a 
back place, yet rather reproachful in this place, to a church like this. 
Neither is the sum mentioned in your call at the present exchange 
anyway adequate to a present support, all which I could leave to God, 
did I satisfactorily know his will and consequently my duty in the pre- 
sent case. I do not. I am obliged to compare my present standing 
in the army, the mere Providence that put and has preserved me 
there, the ways and means of a former and a present support for ray 
family, with this call to learn my duty. And that you may be better 
judges with me, I must be explicit in stating the contrast in my own 
breast as I in some measure sensibly feel it at present. I have said 
providence put and has continued me in the army for these reasons — 
T never sought it, neither did I expect to like the life. Many things I 
have and must see and hear in the army very abhorrent, but little 
christian conversation, no retirement for study, discouraging pros- 
pects for convening or converting sinners, or quickening and edifying 
God's children, and having no disposition to court the hardships and 
fatigues of campaigning, and had not the contest appeared to me 
just, and of so much importance to my country, both in a civil and 
religious sense, as to render me incapable of refusing any services or 


suffering I might be called to in it, at the same time knowing there 
were popular men of character in the ministry that left the city ?lso, 
and some in the State beside, that by their temporary acceptance 
manifested a readiness to the service, that on the whole I have not 
known but God meant to keep me ready as an instrument in some 
future, when the enemy shall leave New York city, to assist that broken 
church where so much of the best of my time has been spent (and 
leave it they will, or come here again), and should I leave the army 
contrary to the desire of not only those of the first military characters 
in the State as also some eminent in the civil, I should probably in a 
late day fling all those advantages that I might expect from the state 
in favor of that church into a hand not so amical to it. My family 
has somehow been preserved and supported, neither is the prospect 
at present less promising for the future. We late last Spring got on 
a little place, although much out of repairs, and a poor habitation, it 
is fertile in pasturage and will afford near twenty tons of hay, has an 
orchard, and my son, although an entire stranger to farming, yet 
turned in to assist the family, and with a little help they procured and 
raised something of a summer crop of almost every kind, and has 
now near twenty acres of wheat in the ground, which place I rent 
at sixty-seven pounds continental per year — many disadvantages we 
are under and particularly the education of children. This view of 
the case I hope will show you my difficulty in determining, and I expect 
you will not take it unkind should I not accept your invitation. 

The call was repeated over and over again. Every effort 
was made to secure him, but of no avail. He felt it to be 
his duty to remain as Chaplain in the army, and did so 
until the war closed. 

Mr. Gano, in his autobiography, published in 1806, thus 
briefly refers to this event : 

I obtained a furlough, to visit and tarry some time with my family. 
While here I received a letter from the Baptist church in Philadelphia, 
requesting me to come and supply them. I shewed the letter to 
General Clinton, who gave me leave to pay them a visit for two or 
three weeks. I informed the church that I was not discharged from 
the army, neither did I wish to engage myself to any people. For if, 
in the providence of God, the enemy should be driven from New York, 
I intend to collect my scattered church, and to settle myself in that 
place. I therefore wished them to look for a supply elsewhere. 

While in Philadelphia he was taken very ill, which 
detained him from the army for some time. 


In 1775 the church, after the resignation of Rev.William 
Rodgers, endeavored to get Rev. Elhanan Winchester, but 
without success. October 23, 1780, however, " the church 
made choice of Mr. Winchester to be their minister." He 
was born in BrookHne, Mass., September 30, 175 1, and 
united with a church there about 1770. Subsequently his 
views on baptism changed, and in 1771 he was baptized by 
Rev. Ebenezer Lyon, and became a member of the Baptist 
church at Canterbury, Ct. He at once entered upon the 
work of the ministry and preached for a time at Rehoboth, 
Mass., then in different parts of New England and South 
Carolina. He was zealous, eloquent and a man of remark- 
able memory. Great success attended his preaching, crowds 
assembled to hear him, and he was in demand by the 
churches. These elements of character had their influence 
on the church in Philadelphia, but his settlement was one 
of the most unfortunate moves they ever made, as the 
sequel will show. 

Rev. John Gano, in his letter to the First Baptist Church, 
as given in this chapter, speaks of "popular men of char- 
acter in the ministry that left the city, and some in the 
state," to enter the chaplaincy of the country. One of these 
men certainly merits reference here, not that he was a 
Philadelphia Baptist, but as the ancestor of an honored 
family of our denomination in this city. Rev. David Jones 
is the gentleman spoken of. He was born in Delaware, May 
12, 1736, and baptized at the Welsh Tract Church, May 6, 
1758. After a liberal course of study he entered the min- 
istry, and was ordained at Freehold, New Jersey, December 
1 2th, 1766. Previous to the issuing of the Declaration of 
Independence he took high ground in favor of cutting loose 
from Great Britian. In 1776 he became a chaplain in the 
army, and remained through all the war, up to the surrender 
at Yorktown, performing very important services for his 


country. He was a man of warm friendship, ardent pa- 
triotism and sincere piety, and, after much faithful work for 
his Lord and Master, he died February 5th, 1824, in the 
84th year of his age. He was buried in the graveyard of 
the Great Valley Baptist Church, near to the very spot 
where, for many years, as a pastor, he preached the gospel 
of the blessed God. 

With this decade we conclude the first century of the 
history of Philadelphia Baptists. The first hundred years 
were checkered and trying. The progress was slow, but 
with the blessing of God upon the humble endeavors of his 
people about seven hundred persons were added to their 
fellowship by baptism, and from the little Baptist colony 01 
1684 the number had grown, by 1780, notwithstanding the 
ravages of war, to 224, having three well established and 
highly respected and respectable churches. About fifteen 
different men had served the churches in the ministry, while 
others had been raised up and sent forth to various parts 01 
our country. Brown University had been founded, and 
a good basis laid for future work and success. 


CHAPTER XIIL— 1781-1782. 


THE very beginning of this decade was clouded with 
the apostacy of Elhanan Winchester, pastor of the 
church in Philadelphia. The first reference to it in the 
records is under date of Monday, March 5, 1 781, as 
follows : — 

It being mentioned in the church that Mr. Winchester held the 
doctrine of of universal restoration, much debating ensued in conse- 
quence thereof, when, finding nothing satisfactory could be done, and 
growing late, the following protest was entered down to be signed by 
those who meant to preserve the orthodox faith, viz. : " Whereas the 
doctrine of universal restoration of bad men and angels, in the fullest 
extent, has for a considerable time privately, and of late more publicly, 
been introduced among us, and is now openly avowed by some of the 
members, to the great disorder and confusion of our church, and 
wounding the hearts of many of our brethren contrary to our con- 
fessio-i of faith, we, whose names are underwritten, do in the most 
solemn manner, from a real conviction of duty, seriously protest 
against the same as a 7nost dangei'oiis heresy : 

William Rogers, Samuel Miles, John McKim, Thomas Shields, 
Joseph Watkins, Benjamin Shaw, John Levering, Anthony Levering, 
Philip Burgen, Isaac Powell, George Ingles, William Moore, John 
McCleod, William Harper, David Bowen, Abraham Mitchell, Matthias 
Mavis, Isaac Bellangee, James Hunter, Abraham Levering, Jacob 
Levering, Andrew Edge, Jacob Burkeloe, Enoch Morgan, John Flint- 
ham, William Hungary, Ezekiel Robins, Richard Riley, Christian 
Dick, William Jenkins, John Bazelee, Zebediah David. Morgan 
Edwards signs this protest against the doctrine of universal salvation 


under the character only of a doctrine that he does not believe. 
Martha Scott, Abigail Aiger, Mary Rush, Ann Barnes, Frances G. 
Mitchell, Elizabeth Ellison, Sarah Powell, Ann Wilson, Sarah Sutton, 
Hannah Rush, Elizabeth Burgen, Ann Faries, Sarah Moulder, Mary 
Bright, Sarah Marsh, Elizabeth Bazelee, Martha Davis, Elizabeth Rees, 
Jane Nicholson, Mary Siddons, Fanny Old, Sarah Connell, Mary Ham- 
mitt, Ann Maclean, Margaret McNilleans, Sarah Gardiner, Catharine 
Rensord, Mary Parker, Lydia Shields, Elizabeth Ball, Rachael Davis, 
Sarah Davis, Eleanor Kessler, Mary Dungan, Mary Holget, Sarah 
Edge, Hannah Levering, Anna Levering, Margaret Wilson, Elizabeth 
Brockis, Sarah Taylor, Elizabeth Marsh, Elizabeth Marot, Martha 
Burkeloe, Margaret Erwin, Rachael Wilson, Massey Engles, Elizabeth 
Winebridge, Margaret Conner, Mary Paine, Sarah Tricketts, Rebecca 
Lakur, Rachael Test, Martha Coffin, Catherine Standland, Sarah 
Parsons, Hester Davis, Lydia Gilbert, Hannah Rogers. Total 92. 

Mr. Winchester was requested to desist from supplying 
the pulpit. Much trouble ensued ; church meetings were 
frequent ; a council of ministers was called, but their advice 
was disregarded by the Winchester party, which party 
broke open the church and held services there. Thus 
matters continued for a whole year. The Council of Min- 
isters decided that those who adhered to the Confession of 
Faith and against Winchester were the church. The 
matter was carried to the Association in 1781. The com- 
mittee appointed by that body to consider the subject 
reported as follows : — 

First. That the proceedings of the protesters in that business were 
regular and fair. Secondly. That the declaration of the ministers 
who were called to their assistance lespecting the protestors, was 
weighty, full and decisive. Thirdly, That, although the non-signers 
are virtually excluded, yet, in order to their more formal excommuni- 
cation, the Philadelphia Church be advised to appoint at their meet- 
ing of business two of their regular male members to go with the 
protest to the non-protestors, one by one, in order to their signing it, 
and warn them that in case they refuse to sign, should openly and 
formally, by name, be excommunicated. 

Samuel Jones, ) 

Oliver Hart, ! ^ ... 

ABEL MORGAN, \ Committee. 

James Manning, j 


The Association, ''Resolved unanimously, That the 
above report of the committee is approved ; and that this 
Association advise all the churches to beware of Elhanan 
Winchester, and not admit him, or any who advocate 
'universal salvation,' to the offices of public teaching, or 
suffer any who avow the same to continue in their com- 

Winchester and his party sought to get possession of 

the property by lawsuit, which added to the trouble and 

expense. In this he failed, for on July 9, 1784, after a two 

days' trial, the jury decided against him. All attempts at 

reconciliation were useless, and the church in December 

excommunicated, publicly, forty-six persons for adhering 

to the doctrine of Universalism. Some of these subsequently 

saw their error, sought restoration to the fellowship of the 

church, and maintained until death fealty to the doctrines 

and ordinances of the New Testament. About fifty pages 

of the church records are taken up with the proceedings 

relative to this case, but it is unnecessary to quote from them, 

as we have given the main facts. By the authority of the 

church a pamphlet of sixteen pages was published, entitled, 

" An Address from the Baptist Church in Philadelphia to 

their sister Churches of the same denomination throughout 

the Confederate States of North America. Drawn up by a 

Committee of the Church, appointed for said purpose." It 

was printed in this city, in 1 781, by Robert Aitken. This 

little book rehearses the troubles with Winchester, but it is 

not necessary to quote from it further than to say that he 

came to Philadelphia in October 1780, " as a messenger 

from the Warren Association to ours, which was nigh at 

hand. Many of the members having, previous to this 

repeatedly heard him preach, not the least suspicion existed 

but that he continued an advocate for that faith which we 

look upon as \.\iQ faith once delivered to the sai?its.'" After 

Winchester's death. 133 

his exclusion from the Baptist denomination he continued 
to preach for some years in Philadelphia to his adherents. 
In 1787 he went to London. His death occurred April 
18, 1797, when he was forty-six years of age. 

Early 1782, a lot was purchased by the First Church, 
on the Schuylkill river, at the end of Spruce Street, to afford 
facilities for baptism to be administered. For many years 
the place was known as '* The Baptisterion." Morgan Ed- 
wards thus describes it as he saw it shortly after his arrival 
in this country : — 

Around said spot are large oaks affording fine shade — underfoot 
is a green, variegated with wild flowers and aromatic herbs, and a taste- 
ful house is near for and undressing the candidates. 

Watson in his " Annals of Philadelphia," says : — 

In the midst of the spot was a large stone, upon the dry ground, 
and elevated above it about three feet, made level on the top by art, 
with hewn steps to ascend to it. Around this rock the candidates 
knelt to pray, and upon it the preacher stood to preach to the people. 
I have learned that the property there belonged to Mr. Marsh, a 
Baptist, and that the British army cut down the trees for fuel. The 
whole place is now all wharfed out for the coal trade. The " Stone of 
Witness " is buried in the wharf, never to be seen more. 

The spot remained bare of trees after they had been de- 
stroyed by the British army, in the Revolution, for nearly a 
a quarter of a century. In a letter written August 3rd, 
1784, to Rev. John Ryland, of London, by Rev. James 
Manning, he thus referred to the Winchester trouble : — 

The apostacy of Mr. Winchester has been for a lamentation 
amongst us. Self-exaltation was the rock on which he split. Though 
he had from the first been remarkable for instability of character, 
he inflicted a grievous wound on the cause, especially in Philadelphia, 
but I think he is now at the end of his tether. His interest is declin- 
ing, which will most probably prove a dead wound. I saw him last 
May, and from his appearance think he has nearly run his race. His 
state of health will not admit of his preaching, and by a letter last 
week from the Rev. Thomas Ustick, who now supplies the pulpit in 
Philadelphia, I learn that Winchester and his friends have lost the 
case in their suit for the meeting-house and the property of the 


church. It really appeared that God owned his labors in the re- 
vival in New England; perhaps for attempting to take the glory to 
himself, he has laid him aside as an improper instrument for his work, 
who justly challenges the whole of it as his own. From common 
fame, and from what I myself saw, I really think this to be the case. 

Amidst all the excitement incident to this case th^e 
was still the deepest solicitude felt for the successful issues 
of the war. This anxiety was duly rewarded on October 
19th, 1 78 1, when Cornwallis surrendered the posts at York- 
town and Gloucester into the hands of Washington. This 
was in reality the final blow to the British power in this 
country. A messenger, with a despatch from Gen. Washing- 
ton, reached Philadelphia on Tuesday the 23rd, at midnight, 
bearing the news of the surrender. Before the dawn of 
Wednesday the exulting people filled the streets, and at an 
early hour the cheering letter was read to Congress, and 
that body thereupon went in procession to church, and 
there joined in devout thanksgiving to God for the great 
victory. The Philadelphia Baptist Association was then in 
session ; and while it had been saddened by the defection 
of Elhanan Winchester, whose troubles were considered the 
very day there was so much exultation over the news from 
Yorktown, it was made joyous beyond expression by the 
victory which had been achieved, under God, by the Ameri- 
can arms. No wonder, therefore, that on Thursday the 
Association " Met at Simrise'' The conclusion of the ses- 
sion is thus recorded in the Minutes : — 

And now, dear brethren, having come to a close of our annual 
meeting, before we address you by our circular letter, we feel our- 
selves constrained to acknowledge the great goodness of God towards 
us, and to call on you to join with us in thankfulness and praise, as 
well for the unanimity and brotherly love which prevailed throughout 
our meeting, as for the recent signal success granted to the American 
arms, in the surrender of the whole British army, under the command 
of Lord Cornwallis, with the effusion of so little blood. 

After an omission of four years the statistics of the 


churches are again given this year, showing a membership 
at Pennypack of fifty-eight and at Philadelphia of eighty- 
six. There was no intelligence from Montgomery, whose 
membership was about eighty. In all the dark days of the 
past six years, the churches had suffered fearfully, and the 
one in Philadelphia had her share. It was indeed very try- 
ing that, after the sorrows and sacrifices of the war, this 
body should be torn, as it was, by the enunciation of false 
doctrine on the part of a trusted leader. Yet, like gold 
tried in the fire, she came out of the ordeal purified and 
prepared to begin afresh for God and truth. 

A committee was appointed by the church May 7th, 

1781, consisting of five persons "to prepare a petition to 
lay before the General Assembly of this State, setting forth 
our present and much injured situation, by Elhanan Win- 
chester and his adherents, and pray them to take our case 
immediately into their consideration and yield us the neces- 
sary redress by putting us in quiet possession of our meet- 
ing-house and all the proprety appertaining to the Baptist 
Church in this city — and also that they will incorporate us as 
a Chtifchy 

In October, 178 1, the church tried hard to induce Presi- 
dent Manning, of Brown University, who had come on to 
attend the Philadelphia Association, to settle with them, 
but he declined, thanking them very kindly for their friendly 
opinion of him. He, however, recommended Thomas 
Ustick as a person every way qualified to suit them, except 
" that he had a large and rising family, and would expect 
that they should be provided for." On the 29th a letter 
was accordingly sent to him, requesting very urgently a 
visit with a view to settlement. He complied, and spent 
the winter with them, with great acceptance. March 4, 

1782, they called him to supply them for one year, which 
he accepted, and removed with his family to Philadelphia 


in July, bearing a letter of commendation for himself and 
wife from the First Baptist Church in Providence, R. I., 
dated June i6, 1782. His was a difficult position to fill, 
coming, as he did, right after the trouble with Winchester, 
who had established in the vicinity another congregation, 
where he preached universal salvation with considerable 
effect; added to all this was the long and trying war through 
which the country had passed. Nevertheless, he was 
equal to the task, and, under his ministry, the church began 
to assume her former prosperity. At the end of the first 
year he was requested to continue his labors, and on Janu- 
ary 5th, 1784, with his wife, was received into the fellow- 
ship of the church. Mr. Ustick was born in the city of 
New York, August 30, 1735. At the the age of thirteen, in 
his native city, he was baptized on the profession of his 
faith, by Rev. John Gano. Mr. Gano, ever apt on such 
occasions, in giving out the hymn to be sung, so changed it 
that it read, 

"His honor is engaged to save 

The youngest of his sheep." 

In the simplicity of his childlike nature, young Ustick, 
as he walked down into the water with his pastor, asked, 
'' Why did you not read the word as it is, '' the meanest of 
his sheep ; for so, truly, I am ? " 

It very frequently occurs that one whom the Lord calls 
so early into His fold, He subsequently calls to the work of 
preaching the gospel. It was so with Thomas Ustick, and 
he began almost at once after his conversion to prosecute 
a course of study under Rev. James Manning, at Warren 
and Providence, R. I. He graduated from Brown Univer- 
sity September 4, 1771, at the age of nineteen years. At 
first he became a teacher of a school, but continued his 
studies with a view to the ministry. In 1774 he received 
the degree of Master of Arts, and was licensed to preach 


about the same time. He was ordained at Ashford, Conn., 
in 1777; he removed thence to Grafton, Mass., in 1779, 
where he remained nearly three years prior to his removal 
to Philadelphia. 

Immediately after the close of the war attention was 
given to fostering those interests which are vitally con- 
nected with all true growth. Hence, in the proceedings 
of the Association for 1782, is the following, relative to 
the circulation of the Bible — the Book which B'aptists 
believe to be the only rule of faith and practice : — 

A letter from Mr. Aitken, printer, in this city, was read, setting 
forth that he had, with great pains and much expense, just completed 
the first English edition of the Bible in America, together with Watt's 
Psalms, and requesting this Association to make the undertaking as 
universally known as we can. 

Voted, that this Association, on the recommendation of Congress, 
of said impression, present their thanks to Mr. Aitken, for his faithful 
execution of this laborious and important undertaking, and most 
heartily recommend to all the churches with which we are connected, 
to encourage the sale therereof. 

At the same session Brown University again received 
attention and it was 

Voted, That the Association, from a representation made to them 
by the corporation in the college in Providence, of the low state of the 
funds of said college, and the urgent necessity of them, in order to 
support suitable instructors therein, and from an idea of the great 
importance of good education, have taken into consideration, as the 
most probable method to accomplish this end, the recommendation of 
a subscription throughout all the Baptist societies on this continent, 
as well as to all the friends of literature in every denomination, on the 
following conditions : — 

'• We, the subscribers, promise, and engage to pay, the several sums affixed 
to our names, to , to be by him paid to John Brown, Esq., of 

Providence, Treasurer of the corporation, or his successor in said office or order ; 
to be placed at interest, and the interest only to be applied to the above purpose." 

N. B. — The several churches are desired to insert in the above 
blank the name of the most suitable person in the society for this 

In the minutes of this year there is the first reference to 


what is known as '* The Honeywell School Fund." It is 
as follows : — 

As we have information that a legacy has been left to this Asso- 
ciation, in the last will and testament of John Honeywell, of Knowl- 
ton, in Sussex County, New Jersey, deceased, 

Resolved J That our Treasurer, Rev. Samuel Jones, who is also in 
said will constituted a trustee of the same, proceed immediately, 
and make use of all due and necessary measures to recover said legacy 
for and in our behalf, and at our expense. 

An outline sketch of the object and history of this legacy 
will here be in place. It is from the pen of Horatio Gates 
Jones, Esq. : — 

John Honeywell, the founder of this school fund, was a resident 
of Knowlton township, Sussex county, N. J., and died there about 
the year 1780. Mr. Honeywell was once a Baptist, but, through 
some cause not now remembered, he was excluded from the church. 
His will is dated May nth, 1779, and is recorded in New Jersey. 

After providing for the support of his wife, Rebecca Honeywell, 
and giving several small legacies to his relatives, he directed the whole 
of his real estate to be sold, the proceeds to be invested and the 
annual income to be used for the establishment and support of a 
school or schools, to *'be kept at the cross-roads leading from the 
Moravian Mills to Delaware river, near Peter Wolf's, in Knowlton 
township, or near the northeast corner of my land where I now live." 
He then adds, ''my desire is that the master that is to receive his 
pay out of my estate may be a man of civil conduct and able to teach 
the boys and youth to read, write, cipher and so forth ; and the 
mistress, likewise, to be of chaste behaviour; able, also, to teach the 
small girls to read, and the bigger to knit and sew and the like, so as 
to be a help to owners and children." 


CHAPTER XIV.— 1783-1790. 


IN the Minutes of the Philadelphia Association for 1783, 
we have the first recorded departure, in this vicinity 
from the ancient custom of laying on of hands on baptized 

In answer to the query from Newton Church : Whether laying on 
of hands be an ordinance of the Gospel to be administered to all bap- 
tized persons, or only in particular cases, we observe, that imposition 
of hands on baptized persons has been the general practice of the 
churches in union with this Association, and is still used by most of 
them ; but it was never considered by the Association as a bar of 

Resolved, That any person scrupling to submit thereto, may be 
admitted to the fellowship of the church without it. 

In view of events which have since occurred in other 
localties, the following procedure of the Association in 
1784, may be of interest. " In answer to a query from one 
of our churches : What measure ought to be taken with a 
sister church who holds and actually admits unbaptized per- 
sons to the Lord's supper? We observe, that such a 
church may and ought in the first instance, to be written to 
by a sister church, exhorting them to desist from such a 
practice, and to keep the ordinances as they were delivered 
to them in the word of God." 


In 1784, Montgomery County was formed out of a 
part of Philadelphia, so that the history of the church of 
that name no longer legitimately belongs to this work. 

The interest which President Manning, of Brown Uni- 
versity, ever manifested in Philadelphia Baptists, and the re- 
spect they entertained for him is worthy of note. He was 
frequently here, and at the Philadelphia Association. Dur- 
ing the five years, 1785-90, preceding his death, he at- 
tended every session. Three , times he preached at the 
annual meetings of this body, twice he was elected Mod- 
erator, and once was its Clerk. In addition to these honors, 
the University of Pennsylvania at its annual commencement 
in 1785, conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Di- 
vinity. He was the first, and for three years after, the only 
Baptist Minister in America who received this degree. The 
title is now more common, but never was it more worthily 
conferred than in this case. 

In 1785, the church in Philadelphia numbered one hun- 
dred and eleven members. Some of these lived at con- 
siderable distances from the meeting-house, in the sur- 
rounding villages. The situation of these led this church to 
propound to the Association the following query : " Whether 
any of our ministering brethren can, consistently with New 
Testament order and our adopted discipline, administer the 
Lord's Supper, among any of our brethren and sisters, how- 
ever numerous they may be in any one place, during the 
period of their remaining unorganized, or unconstituted as 
a distinct regular church by themselves ? " This was an- 
swered, the next year, as follows : — 

First, that the Lord's Supper ought not to be administered to per- 
sons who are not members of any church, though baptized. Second, 
that this ordinance should not be administered to members of churches 
in a scattered situation, without the consent of one of those churches ; 
but permission being first obtained, they may proceed. 


Soon after the conclusion of the war with Great Britain, 
the Pennypack Church took steps towards becoming a 
chartered body, and, on March 9th, 1786, they approved a 
bill of incorporation, and were regularly incorporated 
March 28th, 1787. Under this act the pastor of the church 
was always a Trustee and the President of the Board, by 
virtue of his office. This relationship did not work well, 
and was therefore repealed April 12th, 1845. The cor- 
porate title now reads, " Trustees of the Baptist Church and 
Congregation in Lower Dublin township, in the county of 

The spirit of loyal adhesion to the interests of the colo- 
nies was unwaveringly maintained by the Baptist Churches 
of this vicinity. They were ever found on the side of Civil 
and Religous Liberty, and in defence of these inalienable 
rights, were ever ready to take a decided stand. Individuals 
might rebel against this position, but, without faltering, the 
churches even made the matter a subject for disciplinary 
action. Thus in the church at Lower Dublin, on the 15th 
of March, 1787, John Holmes reported that Joseph Inglish 
said he had not freedom to commune with a church that 
held with even defensive war, and asked the question 
whether he ought to be excluded ? It was agreed to refer 
the matter to the Association, which was done at the next 
session in the following general yet practical query: 
" Whether a person declining communion with the church, 
be it for what cause it may, ought to be excluded, while 
his moral and religous character in other respects is unex- 
ceptionable ! " This was answered in the affirmative. The 
annual meeting of the Association to which this last query 
was presented was held in New York, and in view of mod- 
ern facilities for travel between this and that city, the fol- 
lowing resolution on the Minutes of the Church in Phila- 
delphia, relative to that meeting, is not without interest. 


** Agreed that William Rogers be our Messenger to the 
Association, and that he set off in the land stage on Mon- 
day morning next." 

This church, though existing as a branch and an inde- 
pendent body for ninety years, and having received several 
legacies, yet remained unincorporated. May 1 2th, 1788, 
it was determined to consider at the next business meeting, 
*' the good or bad effects of being incorporated," but, on 
July 7th, it was decided not to get an act of incorporation. 
The Philadelphia Baptist Association was among the first 
religous bodies in America which took a decided stand on 
the temperance question. The following action was taken 
in 1788:— 

The Association, taking into consideration the ruinous effects of 
the great abuse of distilled liquors throughout this country, take this 
opportunity of expressing our hearty concurrence with our brethren 
of several other religious denominations, in discountenancing in fu- 
ture, and earnestly entreat our brethren and friends to use all their 
influence to that end, both in their own families and neighborhood, 
except when used as a medicine. 

Shortly after the passage of the above, the church on 
Second Street " concurred with the Association in discour- 
aging all abuse of distilled and other liquors, and every 
kind of excess in eating and drinking, and do desire the 
brethren to consider the importance and benefit of moder- 
ation in the use of all creature enjoyments, remembering 
the advice of the Apostle to Timothy, and to the churches 
on this subject." At the same session of the Association 
a movement was inaugurated towards the preparation of a 
Baptist Hymn Book. The Minutes state : — 

Our brethren Samuel Jones, David Jones, and Burgiss Allison, 
are appointed a committee to prepare a collection of Psalms and 
Hymns for the use of the Associated churches, and the churches of 
this and of our sister Associations are requested to conclude how 
many of said collection they will take, sending information to Brother 
Ustick, with all convenient despatch. 


This book was published and went through several edi- 
tions. It contained nearly four hundred hymns, and was 
in general use among the churches. We may here remark, 
relative to Samuel Jones, chairman of the above committee, 
and pastor of the church at Pennypack, that, at the annual 
commencement of the University of Pennsylvania, held the 
same year, 1788, the degree of Doctor of Divinity was con- 
ferred upon him. 

Owing to the fearful persecutions to which Baptists had 
been exposed in the old world, they had become accustomed 
to meet as quietly as possible, so their meeting place should 
not be detected. Hence they came to avoid singing alto- 
gether as a part of their worship. In coming to this coun- 
try, therefore, many continued to adhere to this avoidance 
of singing. With the progress of years a change was grad- 
ually introduced, and in the multiplicity of tunes in the 
latter part of the nineteenth century, it is interesting to 
know what " Psalm tunes " the church in Philadelphia au- 
thorized "to be sung in public worship," March 2nd, 1789. 
There were thirty-one in all, and are as follows : — 

Co?nmon Metre. Isle of Wight, Brunswick, Coleshill, Mear, 
Bangor, Rochester or St. Michael, St. Humphrey, St. Martin's, Ninety- 
eighth, Fifth, Thirty-fourth, Suffield, Virginia. 

Long Metre. One hundred-thirty-sixth, Old Hundred, Wells, 
New-hundred, Green's-hundred, Brookfield, Wellington, Morning 
Hymn, Angel Hymn, Bath, Savannah. 

Short Metre. Little Marlboro, New Eagle Street, St. Thomas, 
Worksworth or Ailsborough, Orange. 

Peculiar Metre. Lennox, Amherst. 

The same month that the church decided to use the 
above tunes. Rev. William Rogers, their former highly 
esteemed pastor, was appointed Professor of English and 
Oratory, in the College and Academy of Philadelphia. By 
this institution, in July, 1790, he was honored with the de- 
gree of Doctor of Divinity. He continued to fill the posi- 
tion to which he was elected, with marked ability for 


twenty-three years; during which time he frequently 
preached the gospel in different places, and took a promi- 
nent part in the proceedings of the denomination, as well 
as of the church he had served in the ministry. The furni- 
ture, as well as the meeting-house, of this church, was ex- 
ceedingly plain, and a record like the following, in the 
minutes of October 5th, 1789, would seem very strange 
in its application now : — 

Brother McLeod presents the church with a settee to be placed 
under the pulpit, and Brother Ustick is requested to return the 
church's thanks to Brother McLeod for so handsome an accommo- 

Some of the earliest settlers and largest landholders in 
the township of Roxborough and county of Philadelphia 
were Baptists, and the first attempt to maintain religious 
worship in the neighborhood was by them. Their numbers 
so increased and the distance at which they resided from 
the church on Second street was so great that measures 
were taken, in the summer of 1789, towards constituting a 
separate church ; accordingly, in the minutes of the parent 
body, for August 3d, we find the following : — 

A request from our brethren and sisters at Roxborough for 
a dismission, in order that they may be constituted a church, 
being delivered to this church the 12th of July last, and the church 
agreed that they be dismissed. Bro. Ustick was requested to prepare 
the letter. 

On Sunday, August 23, 1789, in a log school house, 
situated on the Ridge, below Monastery avenue, thirty-two 
persons were constituted as " the church of Jesus Christ, 
on the Ridge Road, Roxborough township." Rev. Samuel 
Jones, D. D., of Lower Dublin, Rev. Thomas Ustick, of 
Philadelphia, Rev. Thomas Ainger, of Wilmington, Rev. 
James McLaughlin of Hilltown, were present and partici- 
pated in the public services. The names of the constituent 



BUILT 1790. REBUILT 1831. ENLARGED 1845. TORN DOWN 1868. 


members, all of whom had been connected with the First 
Church, were as follows: — 

Abraham Levering, Anna Levering, John Levering, Hannah 
Levering, Anthony Levering, Mary Levering, Nathan Levering, Sarah 
Levering, Samuel Levering, Rebecca Levering, Sarah Levering, 
Catherine Standland, John Righter, CorneHus Holgate, Mary Holgate, 
Hannah Coulston, Sarah Mathias, John Howell, EHzabeth Howell, 
George Sinn, Margaret Sinn, Doritha Sinn, William Holgate, Mary 
Holgate, Wigard Jacoby, Michael Conrad, Jane Conrad, Charles 
Nice, Elizabeth Yerkes, Sarah Gorgas, Sarah Lobb, Mary Stout. 

The month following, September 27th, the first baptism 
after the organization of the church occurred, when Rev. 
Thomas Ainger immersed five persons in the Schuylkill 
river. Mr. Ainger was the first person baptized by immer- 
sion in Wilmington, Del., and during the first year of the 
existence of the Roxborough Church he was the stated 
supply of its pulpit. At the ensuing session of the Phila- 
delphia Association this church was received and has re- 
mained connected with said body ever since. At that ses- 
sion the following resolution, in view of more recent events, 
is of importance : — 

Agreeably to a recommendation in the letter from the church at 
Baltimore, this Association declare their high approbation of the 
several societies formed in the United States and Europe, for the 
gradual abolition of the slavery of the Africans, and for guarding 
against their being detained or sent off as slaves, after having obtained 
liberty ; and do hereby recommend to the churches we represent to 
form similar societies, to become members thereof, and exert them- 
selves to obtain this important object. 

Shortly after its constitution, the Roxborough Church 
prepared for a meeting-house. A suitable lot was given by 
Nathan Levering, on which an edifice, thirty by forty feet, 
costing nearly £600, was erected. It was dedicated free of 
debt, October 24, 1790. 


CHAPTER XV.— 1791-1800. 


ON Monday, the 9th day of January, 1791, Curtis Gil- 
bert was ordained to the work of the Gospel Min- 
istry, and entered at once upon the pastoral care of the 
church at Roxborough. The sermon was delivered by 
Rev. Thomas Ustick, and Rev. Samuel Jones, D. D., pro- 
pounded the usual questions and gave the charge. He was 
a young man of much promise, but his life was short, for 
he died April 22nd, 1792. He was buried in the rear of 
where the old Meeting House stood. The marble head- 
stone which marks his grave contains the following : — 

In memory of 
Rev. Curtis Gilbert. 
The first ordained Minister in this 
Church, who departed this life, 
April 22nd, A. D., 1792, 
In yonder house I spent my breath, 
And now lie sleeping here in death. 
These lips shall wake and then declare 
Amen to truths, delivered there. 

The nearest Baptist Church to Chestnut Hill, Phila- 
delphia, was the one at Roxborough, therefore the few 
Baptists residing in that vicinity attended said church, and 


occasionally enjoyed visits from the minister who preached 
there. The first known record of a sermon at Chestnut 
Hill, by a Baptist Minister is found in the Minutes of the 
Roxborough Church. At the business meeting held on Sat- 
urday, April 23rd, 1791, Rev. Thomas Ainger was present, 
and " it was requested that he would preach at Chestnut 
Hill to-morrow." He complied with this request. This 
good man was for many years pastor of the First Baptist 
Church, Wilmington, Del., and at the side of its ancient 
meeting-house his remains repose, he having died in that 
city of yellow fever. The inscription on the marble slab 
which covers his grave reads as follows : — 

The Rev. Thomas Ainger, 
who departed this life, September 20th, 1797. 

In the 43rd year of his age. 
Come all ye good and pious, hither come. 
And drop the tear of sorrow on his tomb, 
Deplore your loss, Ah ! no, those tears refrain, 
For know your loss is his immortal gain. 

The Baptist denomination and the cause of liberal edu- 
cation in this country met with a great loss in 1791, in the 
sudden death of Rev. James Manning, D.D., of Providence, 
R. I. This ocurred on Friday, July 29th. He was then in 
the fifty-third year of his age, having been President of 
Rhode Island College for twenty-seven years. The news 
of his death cast a heavy gloom over the Baptists in Phila- 
phia, where he was loved and honored as a great and good 
man. How he was revered here is attested from the fact 
that the largest space allotted in the Minutes of our Asso- 
ciation for the first hundred years, in referring to a deceased 
minister, is given to Dr. Manning. After recording, with 
gratitude, " the goodness and grace of God the year past," 
the introduction to the circular letter for 179 1 states : — 

But our joys abate while we reflect on the heavy tidings so gen- 
erally mentioned in your letters, of the death of our highly esteemed 
and dearly beloved Brother, Dr. Manning, who, engaged in the dear- 


est interests of religion, of science, and the prosperity of his country, 
fell from the zenith [of his glory and usefulness. In the general loss 
we sustain an important part. No longer shall we enjoy his able 
counsels, his divine and persuasive eloquence, nor his personal friend- 
ship. But while we trust he fell to rise to higher, to celestial glories 
and joys unspeakable, resignation becomes us. May the Lord sanc- 
tify to the churches and ministers of Christ, the awful stroke ; enable 
us to feel, and faithfully discharge, the duties devolving on us, and 
imitate his example. 

In 1 79 1, Christians in Philadelphia had their attention 
specially turned to the Sunday-school work, and in that year 
the " First Day or Sunday-school Society " was formed in 
this city. It was composed of different religious denomi- 
nations. That the Baptist church took a deep interest in 
this movement is evidenced not only from the names asso- 
ciated with it, but also because of the following incident, 
found in their minutes under date of Jannary 4, 179 1. 

Bro. Shaw presented a number of pamphlets entitled, " An Ex- 
hortation to the Religious Education of Children," the printing of 
which amounted to one pound ten shillings ; the church resolved that 
the Clerk draw an order on the Treasurer for the sum, to be paid%ut 
of the afternoon's collection. 

From indications in the minutes, this church took the 
greatest interest in the moral and religious welfare of the 
young, so that we are of the opinion that the church was 
practically engaged in Sunday-school work much earlier than 
181 5, the date given as the time of the organization of the 
Bible school. 

As early as November, 1792, the church on Second 
Street appointed a committee for the " regulation of the 
youth connected with the congregation." From this sprang 
in the latter part of 1795, a society in said church, "with 
the laudable view of educating and assisting the destitute 
orphans that should become members of this society, 
either by their own act, or that of their parents, guardians, 
friends, as well as for the establishing a Register of the 
Births and Deaths therein." This society continued till 


i8i2, when its limits were enlarged, as we shall see here- 
after. In the inauguration of other movements at this time, 
which have since become a part of our denomination's life 
and practice, this church filled a conspicuous place. The 
origin of a custom now universally recognized among 
Baptist Churches may be traced back to a query presented 
by this church to the Association in 1794, which is as fol- 
lows : " Would it not be advisable for the churches in this 
connection to make it their invariable practice to transmit 
a leturn of the reception of persons by letter, to the 
churches by whom they were dismissed?" This question was 
determined in the affirmative, and now as a general thing 
all letters of dismission from one church to another con- 
tain this phrase or one similar : — " When (he or she) shall 
have been received by you, of which you will please notify 
us, said (brother or sister) will be considered as dismissed 
from us." 

While the church was so active in these directions, it is 
not surprising to find her not only maintaining strict dis- 
cipline amongst her own members, but also endeavouring 
to suppress the immoralities of the theatre. December 2, 
1793, it was, " on motion, resolved unanimously, that there 
be a committee appomted to confer with committees from 
other religious societies for the suppression of plays." The 
committee consisted of Rev. Thomas Ustick, Rev. William 
Rogers, D. D., Benjamin Shaw, John McLeod, George 
Ingels, Heath Norbury and Joseph Keen. These brethren 
reported the next month, "that they met with committees 
appointed from the following societies, viz.: the Scotch 
Presbyterians, the Third Presbyterian Church, and the 
Methodists, who joined with them in their effort." 

One name given in the above committee is deserving of 
special mention ; that of Joseph Keen. An examination of 
the Minutes of the First Church gives a remarkably favor- 


able impression of him, as a man of marked Christian 
character, devoted to all the interests of the church, and a 
worthy sire of a noble family, still identified with the de- 
nomination in this city. 

The practice now prevalent of making a distinction 
between letters of dismission and those simply of recom- 
mendation, owes its origin to a question from this same 
church, in 1795. This is the query: — "Whether it might 
not, at this time, considering the frequency of emigration, 
be advisable for this Association to insert in their minutes 
a request to the trans-Atlantic churches that they would be 
particular in their letters of recommendation and dismission 
of members, to specify whether they intend merely to 
recommend or dismiss ; together with the principles and 
practice of the church so dismissing." An affirmative 
decision was given to this. 

How much these movements had to do with the present 
education and missionary societies of our denomination 
cannot now be estimated, but certainly no unimportant part. 

We come now to record the death of Rev. Morgan 
Edwards, which occurred January 28, 1795. Justice has 
never been done to the memory of this remarkable man. 
If to any one is really due the projection and establishment of 
Brown University more than to any other, Morgan Edwards 
is that man. As a denomination we are indebted to him for 
his collection of materials for early Baptist history in this 
country, which are now invaluable. Unfortunately for him, 
he became addicted to the inebriating cup, necessitating the 
church to resort to discipline a few years before his death, 
but this only continued for about four years, when he sought 
restoration, which was cordially granted, and up to the day 
of his death he lived Christ, as well as professed Him. To 
err is human, to forgive is divine. The greatest have some- 
times fallen, but wonderful grace often saves them, never- 


theless. His efforts in the Philadelphia Association, from 
his first entrance into it, in 1 761, are manifest in the improved 
state and value of the minutes, and in the inauguration of 
various important enterprises, on to 1794, when he was 
present for the last time, and then "the business of the second 
day was opened with prayer," say the minutes, " by Bro. 
Morgan Edwards." In the afternoon of that day the same 
records state, " Minutes of this Association, from the begin- 
ning thereof to the year 1793, inclusive, bound together, 
were presented to the Association by Bro. Morgan Edwards. 
The unanimous thanks of the Association were directed to 
be given him for his present." 

Agreeably to his own desire he was buried in the aisle 
of the meeting-house on Second street, where many of his 
family, and others also had been buried. Upon the removal 
of the dead from this locality, he was interred in the beau- 
tiful lot belonging to the First Baptist Church, in Mount 
Moriah Cemetery. 

Shortly after the death of Morgan Edwards, William 
White was ordained in Roxborough to the work of the 
ministry. This was April 2nd. He was baptized in Phila- 
delphia, March 5, 1787, and was dismissed to Roxborough, 
April 8, 1 79 1, by which church he was licensed September 
21, 1793. After his ordination he became pastor of the 
church at New Britain, Pa., where he remained for nine 

On several occasions during this decade the yellow 
fever raged terribly in this city, so that the churches were 
materially interfered with, and the Association for four 
years met at a distance from the place. 

We are inclined to the belief that the health of Rev. 
Thomas Ustick, pastor in Second street, was not very robust, 
as, in the latter part of the last decade, Rev. Dr. Rogers and 
others preached for him considerably, and he was partially 


laid aside from active work. In 1797, also, his church 

tried to secure other ministers to preach on Sunday evening. 

The church, however, was attached to him, and there is not 

in the minutes during all these years the first intimation of 

anything but confidence and affection. While the yellow 

fever raged here, Mr. Ustick was indefatigable in his efforts 

among the suffering. Sprague, in his Annals of the Baptist 

Pulpit ^^ says : — 

The inhabitants were flying, panic-stricken, in every direction : one 
of Mr. Ustick's friends, a highly respected gentlemen in Bucks county, 
requested him and his family to occupy a house in the country which 
he had made ready for their use; but, as his eldest daughter was, 
about that time, attacked by the disease, and as he could not feel 
wilHng to a separation of the family under such circumstances, he 
concluded to remain at his post and keep them with him, trusting 
to God's preserving care and goodness. During that time of peril 
and dismay he devoted himself, without any regard to his own safety, 
to the sick and dying, the great and good Dr, Rush being his com- 
panion in labour and in sorrow ; and both himself and his family were 
mercifully spared, though several of his children were violently 
attacked by the disease. 

In the minutes of the church at Philadelphia, for Feb- 
ruary 6, 1796, is this record: — 

A letter was presented in behalf of a people who style themselves 
the Second Baptist Church, in Church Alley, requesting the use of 
our meeting-house for evening preaching. 

An answer to this was postponed till the next meeting, 
when the request was not complied with. There is a refer- 
ence to this church again on the 8th of July. The origin 
and subsequent history of this party is a mystery. It 
certainly is not the church formerly called Northern Liberty, 
constituted October 29, 1769. That ceased to exist during 
the war, as we learn from the following minute of the 
Pennypack Church, under date of April 5, 1783 : — 

Received Elizabeth English, she being a member of the quondam 
Second Church of Philadelphia. 

*Page 167. 


The Philadelphia Baptist Association was chartered 
January 24, 1797. A committee to atttend to this business 
was appointed in 179 1. The trustees under this charter 
were to be the senior deacon and ministers of each 
church in the Association. The first meeting of this body 
was held in the morning of October 5, 1797. Rev. Samuel 
Jones, D. D., was elected President, George Ingeles, Trea- 
surer, and Rev. William Rogers, D. D., Secretary. 

In 1797 a resolution was adopted in the Association, 

which inaugurated a custom that still prevails. It was as 

follows : — 

Resolvedy That those churches which omit sending a messenger, 
or letter, to this Association for three years successively, shall be 
dropped from our Minutes, and considered as excluded. 

In 1798, a law was passed authorizing churches in this 
city to place chains across the street in front of their respec- 
tive places of worship, so as not to be interrupted during 
the service of the Lord's day, by the noise of passing ve- 
hicles. The Baptist Church with others put this law into 
practice, as the following Minute of May 7th, 1798, indi- 
cates : — 

On motion. Resolved ; that our brethren Ingels, Davis and Cox, 
be a committee, to carry the law lately passed, to put chains across 
the streets to prevent carriages passing in time of public worship, into 

The eighteenth century was not to close without the oc- 
currence of an event that cast a gloom over the whole United 
States. This was the death, on December 14th, 1799, of 
George Washington, that noble man, of whom its has been 
said, " God left him childless in order that a nation might 
call him father." The mark of respect shown by the First 
Baptist Church to his memory, by the draping of their 
meeting-house in deep mourning, tells of the hold he had 
on the hearts of his countrymen. At the beginning of the 
year, January 19th, which marked the death of this great 


man, the Rev. Howard Malcom, D. D., since so celebrated 
in the missionary, educational and historical work of 
American Baptists, was born in this city. Rev. Thomas 
Fleeson, on April 26th, 1800, became a member of the 
Roxborough Church, and the stated supply of its pulpit for 
nearly a quarter of a century. He was originally connected 
with the church in Philadelphia, having been baptized by 
Rev. William Rogers, D.D., in 1774. He was licensed to 
preach January 9th, 1775. 

About the time of his settlement in Roxborough, he 
lost his sight, and was thereafter known as "the blind 

This city was now beginning to grow more rapidly, and 
the idea of extension began to take possession of the Bap- 
tists. A movement was inaugurated May 5th, 1800, to- 
wards securing a lot in what was then called the Northern 
Liberties, suitable for a graveyard, and to erect a meeting- 
house upon. The Baptist denomination, however, was still 
a feeble folk, numerically, as in the entire city and county 
they numbered only three churches with an aggregate 
membership of two-hundred and seventy-one. 

It will be germain here to note other movements of the 
church in consonance with the aggressive spirit already 
indicated. We quote from the Association minutes for 
1800: — 

A query having been received from the church at Philadelphia 
on the subject. 

Resolved, That it be particularly urged on our churches that, as 
stewards of God, and influenced by a strong desire to spread the 
cause of our blessed Redeemer, they endeavour to raise, as early as 
possible, and to maintain a fund for the assistance of such ministers 
as may be called to destitute churches, or otherwise publish the 
gospel in their connection, and as there are flattering prospects at the 
church at Manahawkin, which has been recently visited with much 
succcess, they earnestly entreat that some collections be immediately 
forwarded to Bro. Rogers for the desirable purpose of affording them 
ministerial aid. 


Whereas, The church of Philadelphia have presented a query on 
the propriety of forming a plan for establishing a missionary society, 
this Association, taking the matter into consideration, think it would 
be most advisable to invite the general committtee of Virginia and 
different Associations on the continent, to unite with us in laying a 
plan for forming a missionary society and establishing a fund for its 
support, and for employing missionaries among the natives of our 


CHAPTER XVL— 1801-1806. 


WITH the commencement of the nineteenth century- 
began a new era of growth and progress in our 
denominational history. Measures were inaugurated look- 
ing to the establishment of an African Baptist Church in 
this city. April 9, 1801, the First Church appointed a com- 
mittee to consider the subject, several persons of color being 
members with them. The committee held several 
meetings, but could accomplish nothing definite. They 
were, therefore, discharged. In accord with the growing 
interest in Foreign Missions, at the session of the Asso- 
ciation in 1 801, Rev. William Rogers, D.D., read a letter 
from William Carey, of Serampore, relative to the work of 
grace in India, and from Dr. Hawes, of England, respecting 
promising appearances among the Hottentots, and the 
Minutes state : " This Association exult in every prospect 
of the success of the gospel, and wish the Missionaries 


God speed." Steps were also in progress looking to the 
establishment of a Missionary Society, to send the Gospel 
to the destitute parts of our own country. 

In the early times the ordinance of Christian Baptism 
seems to have been administered on a week day, and as we 
have seen, at the end of Spruce Street, in the Schuylkill 
river. Here the First Church, in 1803, had a platform erected 
at the water's side, so that the administrator could preach 
to the assembled multitudes on baptismal occasions. On 
this lot, in the Spring of 1802, were planted thirty-six pop- 
lar and weeping willow trees, by the celebrated Phila- 
delphia ^firm of D. 81 C. Landreth, who engaged that, if 
any of the trees should die, they would replace them. At 
the church meeting, when the report about the trees was 
made April 5th, 1802, Joseph S. Walter, a name since fam- 
iliar among the Baptists of this city, narrated his christian 
experience, and with others, was baptized the next day, at 
four o'clock in the afternoon. 

During the year 1802, a very copious outpouring of the 
Holy Spirit was enjoyed in this vicinity, and numbers who 
had been baptized in other communities were taking up 
their homes in the northern and southern parts of this 
city, and thus the way was, under the guidance of Divine 
Providence, prepared for the organization of new churches. 

At the advice of the First Church, February 7th, 1803, 
twenty members, who resided in the Northern Liberties 
asked for letters of dismission, that they might form a 
new Baptist Church in their own neighborhood. Their 
request was unanimously granted. The courteous appli- 
cation was as follows : — 

Northern Liberties, Philadelphia, February ist, 1803. 

Dearly Beloved Brethren :— Having been, by the interposition of a 

kind providence, permitted to assemble together in society for the 

worship of God, from time to time, in the Northern Liberties, for 

these two years past, and some of us for six years upwards, our num- 


bers being small when we first met, during which time in numerous 
instances, the Lord, according to his promise has met with, and 
blessed us, and others who have occasionally been with us. In the 
course of the past year we have been generally privileged with the labors 
of one and another of our ministering brethren and many of the in- 
habitants in this neighborhood have been and now are disposed to 
hear the Gospel, we trust the Lord inclining their hearts so to do, 
insomuch that the place where we meet is too strait for [us. We 
have commended our cause to God for direction, and our minds are 
strongly impressed that it would be for the extension of the cause of 
Christ to request from you, and we do hereby request our dismission 
in order to be constituted into a separate body, and to endeavour 
through the blessing of God to raise a house for his worship in this 
place. Our design in this, brethren, is not to separate from your fel- 
lowship and communion, but wish still to enjoy that union which has 
hitherto so happily subsisted between us and to continue in the same 
faith and discipline that hitherto has been our guide. And, although 
we feel the greatest reluctance in leaving the place where we have 
been so often refreshed, yet the glory of God and the good of pre- 
cious souls constrain us thus to lay our request before you. 

Signed, Isaac Johnson, Margaret Beaks, Jacob Burkellow, Lydia 
West, Thomas Timings, John Ellis, Kate Burkellow, William McGee, 
Cornelius Trimnel, Ann Hartley, Philip Halzell, Sarah Springer, Ann 
King, Hannah Thomas, Elizabeth Collard, Jacob Bayer, Mary Tim- 
ings, Mary Trimnel, James Wiley Jr., Isaac Car. 

Under date of February 20th, the church responded 
through its pastor and deacons as follows : — 

The Baptist Church of Christ in the city of Philadelphia, main- 
taining the doctrines of grace contained in the Confession of Faith 
adopted by the Philadelphia Baptist Association, met at Philadelphia, 
September 25 th, 1742, together with Treatise of Church Discipline 
thereunto annexed. 

To our ministering brethren and all who may be particularly con- 
cerned in accomplishing the wishes of our brethren, in forming and 
constituting a church of the aforesaid principles in the Northern Lib- 
erties of Philadelphia. 

Christian Salutation. 

Beloved, Whereas our brethren and sisters, [here follows their 
names as above given] have applied to us to be dismissed in order 
that they may unite together and enter into covenant in a Gospel 
Church State, and since it appears that their social meetings, and oc- 
casional administrations of the Gospel afford considerable prospects 
that they will be prospered and increased, and that the institution will 
promote the declarative glory of God, the increase of the Redeemer's 


kingdom, and their personal edification ; We do hereby give our full 
consent and cordial approbation to the execution of said design, that 
they may be constituted into a separate and independent Baptist 
Church, holding the aforesaid principles and practices. 

Wherefore, when said constitution is formed, and the aforesaid 
members have covenanted, they will be considered as fully dismissed 
from our particular care and acknowledged in said capacity. We 
have only to add that the aforesaid brethren and sisters are all in full 
communion and good standing, and that they have our fervent pray- 
ers that 'the good will of him that dwelt in the bush may be with 
them ; that Jesus may see the travail of his soul gathered in amongst 
them, that God may enlarge them as Japhet, and dwell with them 
as in the tents of Shem. Thomas Ustick, Pastor. 

Thomas Shields, George Ingels, ? ^,^^^,,^. 

Joseph Keen, John McLeod, S 

This church was constituted March 5th, 1803, with 
twenty members, and was received into the Philadelphia 
Association at its ensuing session in October, with fifty 
members, twenty-five of whom had been baptized since its 
constitution. At the same session of the Association the 
First Church presented the following query : — 

Is it in order to have a Moderator appointed in our Association 
who is not a member of one of the churches belonging to it, and a 
delegate at the same time to the Association from the church so 
belonging ? 

Answer: This Association is not of opinion that it is strictly 
speaking out of order to have a Moderator appointed, who is not a 
member of the churches which compose this body ; yet in addition 
to other considerations, his being unacquainted with the course of our 
business, and his inability, by reason of his absence, to discharge 
some duties which among us devolve on the Moderator in the interval 
of our meetings, render such a choice improper. 

The Second Baptist Church met at first for worship in 
a Masonic lodge-room in York court. During the few 
months they remained, their number increased rapidly under 
the ministrations of John Ellis, a licentiate, aided by other 
supplies. Towards the latter part of the same year, in 
which they were constituted a separate church, the congre- 
gation had erected for their use a neat brick building, 66 
by 47 feet on Budd Street, now called New Market. A lot 


was also marked off and fenced in for a burial ground in 
the rear of the meeting-house. This place of worship was 
dedicated December 15th, 1803. The services continued 
through the entire day and were conducted by Rev. Drs. 
Rogers and Staughton, and by Rev. Thomas B. Montayne. 

At the beginning of this century the health of Rev. 
Thomas Ustick began to decline. Owing to the prevalence 
of an epidemic fever in the city, in 1802, he removed his 
family to Burlington, N. J. In the Baptist church of that 
town he preached his last sermon, with the conviction that 
he should never preach again. His text was, " The grace 
of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." The night 
before his death he said to his son, "the Lord is my shield 
and buckler," and on the following day, April 18, 1803, he 
fell asleep in Jesus. Rev. William Rogers, D. D., preached 
his funeral sermon from the words, *'Our friend Lazarus 
sleepeth." On account of the illness of the pastor, Dr. 
Rogers was requested, April 4th, to administer baptism, 
and, after his death, to preach for the church until January 
I, 1804, for which service he was to receive " eight dollars 
a day." "Out of respect for their deceased brother and late 
pastor," the church draped its pulpit and communion table 
in mourning. His death was a great loss to the denomina- 
tion, for he was a man of sterling piety, scrupulous fidelity, 
respectable talents and very companionable. He was in 
the fiftieth year of his age when he died, and the thirty-first 
of his connection with the Lord's people. 

The next Baptist church constituted in Philadelphia was 
that at Blockley, on Sunday, June 3, 1804. The exercises 
were held in a school-house at the northwest corner of 
Fifty-second and Walnut streets. Rev. Samuel Jones, D. D., 
Rev. William Rogers, D. D., and Rev. William White 
participated in the public services of recognition. The 
names of the seventeen constituent members were Rev. 



John Rutter, Heath Norbury, Amos Pennegar, Cornehus 
Bagley, William Sheldrake, John Davis, Sarah Rutter, Mary 
Pennegar, Elizabeth Pennegar, Susannah Norbury, Mary 
Oliphant, Fanny Sheldrake, Hannah Pennegar, Jerusha 
Davis, Sarah Bagley, Margaret Tyson, Hannah Harper. 
Rev. John Rutter assumed the pastoral charge of the church, 
which continued to worship in the aforenamed school-house 
until the meeting-house was erected. August 25, 1804, 
Mr. John Suplee gave to the church an acre of ground on 
which to erect a house of worship and for a grave-yard. A 
small one-story building was at once erected on this spot. 

October 3rd this church was received into the Philadelphia 
Baptist Association, with sixteen members. The minutes 
of that body for 1 804 state : — 

The church constituted the past year at Blockley, in Philadelphia 
County, applied for admission into this Association, which was freely 
granted, after they had given full satisfaction as to their faith and 

The singing of the congregation was usually led, at this 

time, by a precentor, whose seat was in front of and under 

the pulpit. Thus, under date of August 6, 1804, the First 

Baptist Church 

Resolved, That the committee appointed on singing be authorized 
to fix upon some suitable person, who is a member .of this church, 
to lead in public singing, in case of the absence or indisposition of 
Bro. Bradley, and that he take his place under the pulpit. 

The churches then were very careful to have not only 
Christians to lead in the service of song, but also members 
of their own particular church. 

In the year 1 804 Rev. William White became the first 
pastor of the Second Baptist Church, and for thirteen years 
filled that position with marked ability and success. During 
the period of his labors the following brethren were 
licensed to preach the gospel by the church : Samuel Harris, 
John Hewson, Richard Proudfit, Isaiah Stratton, George 




Patterson, William E. Ashton and James Clark ; and more 
than five hundred persons, upon a profession of faith in 
Christ, were baptized into the fellowship of the church. 

Rev. William Staughton, of Burlington, N. J., on Feb- 
ruary 4, 1805, signified his acceptance of the request of the 
church on Second street to preach for them, and, on the 8th 
of the following April, with his wife, he was received into 
their fellowship by letters of dismission from the church at 
Burlington. He was to supply the pulpit for one year. 
The reason for this limit is thus given in the letter of 
invitation: "Upon due investigation, the church is, at 
present, under a few embarassments respecting their finances. 
Prudence, therefore, has directed them to the procuring of 
a supply for one year, at which time it is expected they will 
be both able to call a pastor and make him comfortable." 
The Baptists, at this time, were few, and the house of 
worship on Second street was a one-story building, only 
forty-two feet by sixty. The congregation was about the 
smallest in the city, and the membership of the church 
only 177. From the first settlement of Dr. Staughton a 
new era dawned. The congregation increased, and the 
building was soon crowded in every part with interested 


In the year 1805 the church at Lower Dublin erected a 
new meeting-house. The principal helper in this movement 
was their pastor, Rev. Samuel Jones, D. D., a man who, in 
his day, was a noble representative of our denomination, 
active in all that pertained to culture and aggressive work. 
For some six years previous to the building of this new 
house there had been no special work of grace, but, com- 
mencing with 1804, there was a large and continuous ingath- 
ering of souls, which cheered alike the heart of the venerable 
pastor and each member of his beloved flock. 

At the end of the year 1805 Mr. Staughton was called 


to the permanent pastorate. Under his efficient ministry 
the meeting-house became too small, and early in 1808 
measures were taken towards its enlargement to the size 
as illustrated on the eighty-seventh page of this work. 
During the progress of the improvements the church used 
the meeting-house of the Second Church in which to 
administer the Lord's Supper. This addition to the edifice 
was pushed forward with great despatch, so that the Phila- 
delphia Baptist Association could occupy it at their annual 
meeting in October of that year. Dr. Staughton was an 
indefatigable worker. Besides the daily instruction of youth, 
he preached, for some time, four sermons every Lord's Day. 
At six o'clock on Sunday morning he preached to large 
congregations in the southern part of the city, near the 
Swede's Church, under a large beach tree, and by these 
missionary efforts prepared the way for the establishment of 
the Third Baptist Church. To his zeal and spirit is due, in 
a large measure, the inauguration of many educational and 
missionary enterprises which have grown to bless the world. 
Philadelphia has ever been and still is the residence of 
Baptist ministers who were not pastors in the city. One of 
these was Horatio Gates Jones, D. D. He removed to 
Roxborough in the year 1805 and resided there until his 
death, which occurred December 12, 1853. As a result of 
his self-sacrificing and persistent labors the Lower Merion 
Baptist Church was founded September 11, 1808, and he 
remained its esteemed and successful pastor up to the time 
of his decease. He was the first chancellor of the Univer- 
sity of Lewisburg, a constituent member of the Triennial 
Convention, hereafter to be spoken of, for twenty-five years 
the President of the Board of Trustees of the Philadelphia 
Baptist Association, and in other spheres served most hon- 
orably the varied interests of the denomination he loved so 
well. As one of the early Baptists of this city his memory 
will long be fragrant, and his influence potential. 


The method of lighting the churches for evening service 
was by candles. The purchasing of the " dips " by the 
pound became somewhat expensive, so the First Church, 
under date of Jannary 6, 1806, " Resolved, That the deacons 
be requested to procure candles by the box for the use of 
the meeting-house." The method of heating the building 
was entirely by large tin-plate wood stoves. The floors 
were uncarpeted, but were sanded twice each month. 

The first record of a blank form for letters of dismission 
to unite with other churches is found in the minutes of the 
First Church, under date of October 6, 1806, when it was 

Resolved, That Bro. Staughton be requested to draw up a form 
of a letter of dismission, with a sufficient number of blanks, for the 
purpose of being printed, and present the same at a future meeting. 

In the Association this year is the first record of public 
collections in the churches for Foreign Missions : — 

The Association recommends that collections be made in all the 
churches in which they have not been made, and repeated, if found 
convenient, where they have already been made, for assisting our 
brethren in Serampore in the translation of the Scriptures into the 
several languages of India, and that the moneys be transmitted by 
our next Association to our Bro. Rogers, to be, by him, deposited in 
the hands of Robert Ralston, Esq., to whom gratitude is due for his 
disinterested and obliging attention to the reception of moneys and 
their transmission to India. 

At' this same session of the Association a query was 
presented from the First Church, and as the same question 
has been discussed more recently, it will not be out of 
place here : — 

What is the smallest number of members necessary for forming a 
gospel church ? Answer: On this head different sentiments are en- 
tertained. Some have supposed two or three are sufficient, others 
have imagined five, some ten, and others twelve, because it would 
seem that the church at Ephesus was formed of twelve men. Acts 
xix: 7. TheAssociation is of opinion, however, that much depends upon 
the probability of the persons living permanently together who may 
be about to be constituted. It appears also desirable that there be in 
a new settlement, where removals are frequent, at least seven, and of 
these two or three males. 


Then, as since, the churches were agitated as to the val- 
idity of baptism administered by one of a different faith 
from our own. It is evident, however, that where a persoft 
is thoroughly converted and is immersed in the name of the 
Trinity upon a profession of Faith, the baptism is valid 
without any regard to the character of the administrator. 
The same year that the question was asked as to how many 
persons were necessary to form a Gospel Church, it was 
queried : — 

Whether can an orthodox Baptist Church receive a person who 
has been baptized by a Tunker, Universalist, without baptizing him 
again? The person has renounced Universalist principles. Answer, 

At the same session, the Circular letter was written by 
Rev. William Rogers, on " Christian Missions." It was thor- 
oughly permeated with the true spirit of the Gospel, and 
discussed the subjects as follows : — 

I. The principles on which they proceed. 

II. The extent to which they have been carried. 

III. The encouragement we possess for future exer- 
tions. This paper says : — 

The Philadelphia Baptist Missionary Society, of which several of 
us are members, though of recent formation, has not been left to 
struggle in vain, brother T. G. Jones, who is our Missionary in the 
eastern parts of the State of Ohio, has already made a communication 
of agreeable tidings. In order to baptize believers in Jesus, he has 
led them into waters where this holy ordinance was never admin- 
istered before, and on a late tour he constituted a new Baptist Church 
near the town of Lisbon. Numbers listened eagerly to the preaching 
of the cross, and in the work his heart appears to be much enlarged. 

Rev. John Rutter continued in the pastorate of the 
Blockley Church until September, 1806, during which time 
he baptized sixteen persons and the church grew to a mem- 
bership of thirty-three. On account of immoralities the 
church excommunicated him ; after which he persisted in 
regarding himself a minister, just as though a membership 


in some church was not essential to any standing in the 
Christian Ministry. In 1807 the Association pubhshed the 
•following : — 

The churches in our connection are notified that John Rutter, late 
pastor of Blockley Church has been excommunicated ; they will there- 
fore not countenance him as a preacher. 

The following query from this church was also pro- 
pounded to the Association, relative to him : — " Is it con- 
sistent for an excommunicated minister to perform the sol- 
emnities of marriage between persons ? Can such mar- 
riages be viewed by us, as a people, as strictly legal ? " 

Answer, " The Association are of opinion that, with an 
excommunicated minister, we have no more to do, except 
as it may relate to the announcing of such excommu- 
nication ; the law or any society he may join, must become 
the judge of his conduct; for ourselves we cannot coun- 
tenance such marriages." 


CHAPTER XVIL— 1807-1810. 


IT is sometimes regarded as a modern innovation for city 
pastors to reside, even during the summer time, out in 
the country. Dr. Staughton, v^^hen pastor of the First 
Church, in the summer season frequently lived some miles 
away. Thus in 1809 he resided in Germantown. In 
August, 1807, he vv^rites, " We have this summer a beautiful 
situation, four miles from Philadelphia." The great 
demands made upon pastors of prominent city churches by 
visitors having every conceivable object in view, not only 
germain to the minister's work, but also entirely foreign 
thereto, are simply fearful, and when it is possible to secure 
a home for a pastor at a distance from the church, an 
improvement in pulpit efforts is generally the result. 

On the 24th of May, 1807, twenty-four members were 
dismissed from the Second Church to constitute the Frank- 
ford Baptist Church of this city. Their names were, Thomas 
Gilbert, Mary Gilbert, Joseph Gilkey, John Rorer, William 
Phillips, Mary Phillips, J. P. Skelton, Maria Skelton, Isaac 
Reed, Elizabeth A. Reed, John Chipman, Elizabeth Chipman, 
John Dainty, Mary Dainty, James Clark, Mary Clark, 
Benjamin James, Sarah Lyons, Esther Gordon, Margaret 
Kildare, Hannah Cottman, Leah Cottman, Francis Sellers, 


Phebe Davis. Six other persons, baptized by Rev. Thomas 
Montayne, were also regarded as constituent members. 

Among the pioneer laborers in Frankford were Revs. 
John Ellis, T. B. Montayne, William Staughton, D. D., 
Samuel Jones, D. D., William Rogers, D. D., and William 

The above little band, having no house of worship in 
which to gather, were consitituted into a church in a part of 
Nature's temple known as " Smith's Woods," situated on 
the Asylum Road. Here, also, they first celebrated the 
Lord's Supper, and on June 13, 1807, in a stream near by, 
three converts, Margaret Rees, Mary Coon and Dinah 
Thomas, were baptized. In July of the same year a lot of 
ground was purchased at the corner of Pine and Edwards 
streets for $i66.66j and a substantial stone meeting-house 
erected thereon. In October following, the church united 
with the Philadelphia Association, which rendered material 
aid in supplying them with preaching for about two years. 
In 1808 an effort was made to obtain an Act of Incopora- 
tion, but for some unaccountable reason it was not obtained 
until 1824. 

We come now to the centennial anniversary of the 
Philadelphia Association. One hundred years had passed 
since, in a small frame structure on Second street, it had 
been organized with only five churches, and the only body 
of the kind on the continent. It met in this city on the 
identical spot where it was formed, October 6th, 7th, and 8th, 
Its founders had all gone to their reward, but the work they 
had commenced had been carried gloriously forward. 
Instead of the one Association of a century ago, there 
were now ninety-two in the country, while the number of 
Baptist churches in the land had increased to nearly two 
thousand, and the aggregate membership to about one 
hundred and forty thousand. The century sermon was 



preached by Rev. Samuel Jones, D. D., from the text, Isaiah 
ii : 3. " Enlarge the place of thy tents, and let them stretch 
forth the curtains of thy habitation. Spare not, lengthen 
thy cords and strengthen thy stakes, for thou shalt break 
forth on the right hand and on the left." The sermon is 
published in the minutes of the Association, and is a 
valuable document, by one of the most useful and honored 
fathers of our denomination. His services in the cause of 
Christ were laborious, timely and successful. An educated 
man himself, he was an educator in a noble sense, and to 
this day his influence is felt for good in many ways. 

In 1807, the Association numbered thirty-nine 
churches with an aggregate of 3632 members. The fol- 
lowing table exhibits the names of all the churches ad- 
mitted to the Association during the first hundred years of 
its history, the county and state in which the churches are 
located, with the date of their admission to the Asso- 
ciation : — 


1 Lower Dublin, 

2 Middletown, . 

3 Piscataway, 

4 Cohansey, 

5 Welsh Tract, 

6 Great Valley, . 

7 Cape May, 

8 Hopewell, 

9 Brandywine, 

10 Montgomery, . 

11 Tulpehocken, 

12 Kmgwood, 

i'^ Cranberry, now Hightstown, 

14 First, . 

15 Southampton, 

16 Scotch Plains, 

17 Horseneck, 

18 Oyster Bay, . 

19 Morristown, 

20 Rocksberry, . 

Date of 
County. State. Admission. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1707 

Monmouth, New Jersey, 1 707 

Middlesex, New Jersey, 1707 

Cumberland, New Jersey, 1707 

New Castle, Delaware, 1707 

Chester, Pennsylvania, 17 11 

Cape May, New Jersey, 17 12 

Hunterdon, New Jersey, 17 15 

Delaware, Pennsylvania, 1715 

Montgomery, Pennsylvania, 1719 

Berks, Pennsylvania, 1738 

Hunterdon, New Jersey, 1742 
Middlesex, Pennsylvania, 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 







New Jersey, 
New York, 
New Jersey, 
New Jersey, 




Date of 



State. Adviission. 

21 Ketockton, 




22 Opekon, 




23 Harford, . 




24 New Britain, . 




25 Salem, 


New Jersey, 


26 Newton, now Wantage, 


New Jersey, 


27 Bateman's Precincts, 


New York, 


28 Dividing Creek, 


, New Jersey, 


29 Smith's Creek, 




30 First, .... 

New York, 

New York, 


31 Knowlton, 


New Jersey, 


32 New Mills, now Pemberton, 


New Jersey, 


33 Konoloway, 


, Pennsylvania, 


34 Coram, 

Long Island; 

, New York, 


35 Crosswicks,now Upper Freehold 

I, Monmouth, 

New Jersey, 


36 Mount Bethel, 


New Jersey, 


^'j Lyons Farms, 


New Jersey, 


38 Goshen, 


New York, 


39 Philip's Patent, . 


New York, 


40 Pittsgrove, 


New Jersey, 


41 Manahawkin, 


New Jersey, 


42 Vincent, 




43 Tuckahoe, 


New Jersey, 


44 Northern Liberty, 


, Pennsylvania, 


45 Cortland's Manor, 


New York, 


46 Second, 

New York, 

New York, 


47 Stamford, , , 




48 King Street, . 




49 Oblong, now Millerton, 


New York, 


50 Cow Marsh, . 




51 Armenia, 


New York, 


52 London Tract, 




53 Hilltown, . 




24 Lower Smithfield, 




55 Mispilion, 




56 First, 




57 Duck Creek, 




58 First, Wilmington, . 

New Castle, 



59 Canoe Brook, 


New Jersey, 


60 Jacobstown, . 


New Jersey, 


61 Staten Island, 


New Jersey, 


62 Pittston, 




63 Marcus Hook, 




64 Roxborough, 


, Pennsylvania, 




Date 0/ 



State. Admission. 

65 Penn's Manor, 




66 Sideling Hill, now Samptown, 


New Jersey, 


6-] West Creek, 


New Jersey, 


68 Shamokin, 

Northumberland, Penn., 


69 Amwell, now Flemington, 


New Jersey, 


70 Burlington, . 


New Jersey, 

1 801 

71 Mount Holly, 


New Jersey, 


72 Dover, 




73 Second, 


, Pennsylvania, 


74 Second, Hopewell, 


New Jersey, 


75 Blockley, . 


, Pennsylvania, 


76 Squan, 


New Jersey, 


'j^ Evesham, now Marlton, . 


New Jersey, 


78 Trenton and Lamberton, 


New Jersey, 


79 Frankford, 


, Pennsylvania, 


From the above table we learn that Philadelphia was 
the great centre for the churches in all the region round 
about. From Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Con- 
necticut, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia they came during 
the first hundred years of its existence, to be identified 
with it. 

By an act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania, passed in 
1809, the Second Baptist Church was regularly incor- 

There have been born in Philadelphia many who in after 
years were honored of God in doing a great work for him. 
So there have been baptized into the churches of this 
city persons whose names have become household words 
and whose memories will be fragrant to the latest hour of 
time. Among these is the name of John P. Crozer, who 
with his sister Sarah, was baptized in the Schuylkill river, 
at half-past twelve o'clock on Saturday, April 9th, 1808, by 
Rev. William Staughton, D. D., and united with the First 
Baptist Church. Mr. Crozer was now only fifteen years of 
age, having been born January 13th, 1793. The circum- 
stances of his conversion are thus given in the beau- 


tiful language of his biographer, Rev. J. Wheaton Smith, 
D. D.,"^ " On the farm adjoining his (J. P. Crozer's) father's 
lived an estimable family by the name of Pennock. On the 
death of a daughter in their household — a lovely Christian 
young woman, who was the intimate friend of Elizabeth, 
the sister of John, — Dr. Staughton came from Philadelphia 
to preach the funeral sermon. The neighbors and friends 
assembled at the house of the Pennocks, where the service 
was held. Under the influence of this and a few following 
discourses at the same place a number of persons were con- 
verted, among whom were John and his sister Sarah. 

" Little did the excellent Staughton think, as he stood 
that day under the low ceiling of a farm-house room, look- 
ing around him upon the little company of neighbors and 
friends seated^upon chairs and benches, that there sat among 
the boys a plain but thoughtful lad, not yet fifteen years old, 
who was to be one of the brightest jewels in the crown of 
his future rejoicing — one who would hew out a way to opu- 
lence and extended usefulness, becoming the benefactor of 
the poor, the friend of the ' feebleminded,' the patron of 
learning, and the steadfast supporter of religion. Often in 
after years the full, round tones of this princely preacher 
rung out upon the ears of the multitude which thronged 
his ministry in the old round meeting-house in Sansom 
Street ; but never, perhaps, were they heard so far as when 
he spoke in the farm-house kitchen. As he arose, the hopes 
of future colleges and schools hung trembling on his words ; 
Ethiopia was stretching out her hands to God in the prayer 
of that simple service; and the silver bells of Burman pago- 
das hung hushed and tremulous to the songs of praise. 

"Brethren in the ministry of Jesus, let us take a lesson. 
Our wayside efforts may prove our best. A sermon in a 

* Life of John P. Crozer, page 30. 


country town, a friendly talk on the dusty path of travel, 
a word of counsel in some desolate household of the poor, 
may yield the crowning blessing of our earthly lives." 

In the business meeting of the First Church, August 7, 
1809, " the following letter was presented from a number of 
brethren, in Southwark, requesting to be dismissed in order 
to form a new church of our Lord Jesus Christ ": — 

This is to certify that we, whose names are hereunto subscribed, 
have taken into consideration how desirable it would be for the Baptist 
cause to be extended in this city and established in Southwark, and, 
after due deliberation, do believe no plan more eligible could be con- 
certed to bring about the erection of a Baptist meeting-house in 
Southwark than for a sufficient number of brethren and sisters 
unitedly to agree to be constituted into a regular church of Jesus 
Christ, under the name of the Third Baptist Church of Philadelphia. 

We, therefore, after all due consideration, do solicit of the First 
Baptist Church of Philadelphia, of which we respectively stand mem- 
bers, a letter of dismission for the purpose of being constituted an 
independent church of Christ, under the name above mentioned. 

We would not have any of our brethren harbor a thought that our 
request arises from any disaffection on our parts, nor from a wish to 
leave the church of which we are members from any other con- 
sideration than the advancement of the Redeemer's interest. Hoping 
this, our resolution, will meet your cordial approbation, and that when 
such a measure, with your concurrence and assistance, may be 
entered into, there may exist the utmost harmony and Christian love 
is the prayer of yours in a precious Redeemer. 

Samuel Oakford, Hannah Bacon, Elizabeth Van Blunk, Richard 
Van Blunk, Annie Elberson, Mary Cane, Isaac Bacon, Elizabeth 
Merwine, Benjamin Thomson, Rachel Barber, Mary Robinson, 
Richard Johnson, Anna Clark, Sarah Barnet, James Naglee, Sarah 
Cox, Sarah James, John P. Peckworth, Jane Peckworth, Enoch 
Reynolds, John McCleod, Eliza McCleod, Lewis Baldwin, William 
Robinson, Jehu Milnor, John Cox. 

This very kindly request was unanimously granted, and 
on Wednesday, August 23rd, they were constituted in the 
First Baptist meeting-house as the Third Baptist Church. 

The early custom of imposition of hands on the newly 
baptized continued to be practiced in the First Church, under 


the ministry of Dr. Staughton. Under date of April 3, 
1809, it is recorded : — 

John Kidwell having been baptized and expecting shortly to sail, 
was received by the imposition of hands, and then received the right 
hand of fellowship. 

So prosperous had the church become that the month 
following the above record they were able to pledge to their 
pastor fifteen hundred dollars and the free use of the parson- 
age. While the church then, as since, was always disposed 
to'doliberal things for their pastor, they had never previously 
been able to give so large a salary. 

It is impossible to peruse the minutes of the churches 
all through the early days without being impressed with 
the strict discipline that was maintained by them. The 
utmost care was exercised in the reception of members ; the 
closest supervision was maintained over all connected with 
the church, and any dereliction, or wandering, or infidelity 
was vigorously attended to. Everyone seemed to feel that 
there was a difference between a member of church and a 

It is an old and familiar adage that times change. At 

the present day we are impressed with this as we read a 

record like the following in the minutes of the First Church, 

under date of June 26, 1809 : — 

On motion it was resolved, that in future there shall not be any 
funeral in military order, that is, with arms or martial music. Funerals 
in Masonic order are also prohibited in our burial ground. Our 
sexton is desired to attend to the above resolution. 

After much discussion and perplexity it was now felt 
that the time had fully come for the organization of an 
African Baptist church in this city ; accordingly, under date 
of June 12, 1809, in the minutes of the First Church, " the 
following letter, dated May 13, 1809, was received from 
brethren of Color " : — 

We, whose names are here written, are desirous of obtaining our 


^ letters of dismission from the First Baptist Church in Philadelphia for 
the purpose of becoming a distinct church of the Lord Jesus. 

John Harris, Jane Simmonds, Sarah Johnson, Edward Simmonds, 
Hannah Cole, Zilpha Rhees, Samuel Johnson, Nancy Cole, Sarah 
Bartley, Sarah Harris, Phillis Dorcas, Jane Riddle, Betsey Jackson. 

This request was complied with, and on June 19th, it was 

Resolved, That this church give our brethren of color the use of 
this house on Thursday, the 29th inst., for the purpose of being, with 
members from other churches, constituted and organized into a 
regular church state. 

It was further Resolved, That our brethren Staughton, Rogers, 
Peckworth and Ingels be a committee to assist our brethren of 
color in their constitution. 

The church subsequently aided, very materially, this 
new organization. 

July 9, 1 8 10, the First Church authorized the erection of 
a two-story brick building, 32 by 18 feet, at a cost of ;^ 1, 100, 
on the lot at Spruce street and the Schuylkill river, for 
baptismal occasions. 

The Missionary Society of our city continued to extend 
its labors, and met with cheering results. October 5, 18 10, 
the Secretary, Rev. Dr. Staughton, wrote as follows : 

The Philadelphia Baptist Missionary Society announces with 
pleasure to the churches and to the public that there are seven mis- 
sionaries at the present time in their service. Bro. Thomas G. Jones 
is engaged in the tract of country near the dividing line of the states 
of Ohio and Pennsylvania. Bro. Thomas Smiley on the western 
waters of the Susquehanna. Bro. Henry George is laboring on the 
waters of the Owl Creek, in the Ohio state; and Bro. William West 
on the margin of Lake Erie and the country adjacent. Bro. Montayne 
for two months in the year has been, and continues engaged in the 
small towns on the Delaware and in other parts of Bucks and North- 
ampton counties, Pennsylvania. Brethren Bateman and Cooper, 
whose appointments originated at the present meeting, have their 
tours assigned them in parts of West Jersey where the gospel is never 
or seldom preached, — excepting that Bro. Bateman is instructed to 
devote a part of his time in Pennsylvania. The information received 
from the Missionaries is peculiarly encouraging ; a holy zeal for the 
spread of the Redeemer's kingdom among us, we trust, is greatly 
reviving. It is hoped the churches generally will catch and retain 
the sacred flame, and that (to use the words of our Bro. Carey) we 
may be assisted to " expect great things and attempt great things." 


CHAPTER XVIIL— 1811-1815. 


THE growth of the city westward, and owing to the 
size of the First Church, then numbering 473 mem- 
bers, steps were taken at the beginning of January, 181 1, to- 
wards the organization of a new church. Nearly one hundred 
members were dismissed. At first this movement seemed 
to be approved by all parties, but unfriendly remarks were 
made, which inaugurated a spirit of alienation, whose bitter 
results have since been sorrowfully learned. No good ever 
comes from crimination and recrimination. A guarded 
tongue and a quiet peace-making conduct are always com- 
mendable in all enterprises, especially in connection with 
the interests of the Redeemer's kingdom. This movement 
resulted in the organization of the Sansom Street Baptist 
Church, on the 24th of January, 181 1, and the following 
month Rev. Dr. Staughton was called as pastor. This call 
he accepted. The church worshipped for a time in the 
court-house on Chestnut Street, and afterwards in the Acad- 
emy on Fourth Street. A lot, however, was soon procured 
on Sansom Street, above Eighth, whereon was erected a cir- 
cular building, ninety feet in diameter, which, with the lot, 
cost the sum of $40,000. 


" Large as this amount was," * says the Memoir of Dr. ' 
Staughton, "the probability is that it would have been ob- i 
tained, had not adverse circumstances occurred, producing I 
great commercial distress. The annual revenue arising | 
from pew rents and collections amounted at first to between 
four and five thousand dollars. The seats of this immense 
building, during the whole period of his ministrations, j 
were well filled ; but, on the Lord's day evening, the place \ 
was crowded with solemn and admiring spectators. His 
popularity was unimpaired by time, and those who heard 
him once desired to hear him again. With this church he \ 
spent the happiest and most useful days of his life." , 

It is now universal among Baptist Churches to take 
up a collection after the administration of the Lord's j 
supper, for the poor of the church. The first intro- j 
duction of this custom in this vicinity was authorized by j 
by the First Church, January nth, 1811, after several ■ 
months discussion, as follows ; " It was resolved that a col- i 
lection for the use of the poor members of this church be i 
made monthly, immediately after the hymn is sung, at the 
conclusion of the administration of the Lord's Supper." 
At the organization of the Third Baptist Church, Rev. John 
P. Peckworth became the pastor and filled that position for 
about fifteen years, during which time the church prospered 
greatly under his ministry. He was highly esteemed by 
all the churches, and faithfully served the cause of Christ. 

In September, 181 1, Rev. David Jones, Jr., became the 
first pastor at Frankford. An interesting biographical i 
sketch of this brother is published in Tract 132 of the 
American Baptist Publication Society. From it we quote 
the following relative to his labors at that place : — : 

It is now more than six months (May 16, 181 2,) since I came to 
Frankford. I have endeavored to preach frequently since 1 came, for 

* Page 84. 


the Apostle saith, 2 Cor. 9:6, ^' He that soweth sparingly, shall reap 
sparingly. The little church labors under grievous difficulties ; never- 
theless, I have found much freedom in dispensing the word of life 
among them. Our congregation is increasing. 

The following entry is made at the close of his labors 
with this church, in his journal, dated December 13, 1813 : — 

This evening I preached for the last time in Frankford. The 
meeting-house was crowded. I spoke from Proverbs 23 : 23. May 
the Lord grant to bless Frankford, and call many sinners to the 
knowledge of the truth. Amen. D, Jones. 

He was born in North Wales, England, April 9, 1785. 
After leaving Frankford he became pastor in Newark, New 
Jersey, and remained there until December, 1821, when he 
assumed the pastoral care of the Lower Dublin Church, of 
this city. Here he labored till his death, which occurred 
April 9, 1833. 

The First Church, left pastorless, at once looked out 
for a man who, in talent and commanding influence, would 
be a worthy successor of a noble line of able men. Rev. 
Dr. Broaddus, of Caroline county, Virginia, was earnestly 
sought, but, on account of various domestic claims, he 
declined. Rev. Dr. Henry Holcombe, of Savannah, Georgia, 
was then invited, and after preaching to the people with 
great acceptance he was unanimously chosen to the pastorate, 
October 17th, 18 11. This call he at once accepted, and 
entered upon his duties the beginning of the new year. 
The church furnished his house and gave him a salary of 
$1,600 a year. It was customary then for the ministers to 
preach three times on the Lord's Day, but the church 
assured Dr. Holcombe that he should only preach twice. 
He was a man of excellent talents, strong will, vigorous 
in his opposition to what he supposed to be wrong, and very 
earnest in controversy. He ably served the First Church 
for thirteen years, and had within its fellowship a host of 
devoted and true friends. 


The missionary spirit was now beginning to manifest 
itself, and in 1812 a monthly concert of prayer was begun 
by the Baptist churches of this city. The meetings were 
held in each church alternately, to pray " for the 
spread of the ever-blessed gospel." In addition to this, the 
churches themselves held "quarterly prayer-meetings for 
the spread of the gospel," at the residences of the mem- 
bers. March 1 5th, 1 8 1 3, is the first recorded special sermon 
in the interests of Foreign Missions. The record is as 
follows : — 

Resolved, That an appropriate sermon be preached and a col- 
lection made on Lord's day evening next, for the purpose of assisting 
the Mission at Serampore towards reimbursing the loss by the late 

On Saturday, October 17th, 1812, Thomas Stewart, of 
Beaufort, South Carolina, a student of Princeton, New 
Jersey, visited Dr. Holcombe, and, giving evidence of a 
change of heart was baptized the same day. Desirous of 
uniting with the church, and being under the necessity of 
returning at once to Princeton, to resume his studies the 
next morning, the pastor detained the church, when Mr. 
Stewart narrated his Christian experience, was received 
as a member, and the right hand of fellowship was at once 
given. A Baptist minister has a scriptural right to baptize 
any one giving an evidence of his faith in Jesus, but it 
requires a vote of the church to make said person a member. 
The ordinance of baptism seems to have been committed 
by our Lord to the ministry, and on this principle Dr. Hol- 
combe proceeded. 

In 18 12 the First African Church settled as their pastor 
John King, one of their own licentiates. He was ordained 
and remained pastor for two years, when he was excluded 
from their fellowship. 

In the year 18 12 the society formed in the First Baptist 


Church, with the laudable view of educating and assisting 
the destitute orphans, was enlarged so as to embrace all the 
city. Article I of the Constitution of " The Philadelphia 
Baptist Orphan Society" was as follows : — 

The design of this Society is to establish a register of the births 
and deaths of members of the Baptist churches and congregations in 
the city and Hberties of Philadelphia, who shall .become subscribers 
thereto, and who shall pay, or cause to be paid, or have heretofore 
paid at the time of subscribing a sum not less than fifty cents for each 
name recorded in the Register. The interest arising from which fund 
shall be applied to the education and assistance of such orphan and 
indigent children whose names may have been recorded in the Society. 

Under date of November 25th, 1812, the President, 
Thomas Shields, stated : — 

The funds of this Society have increased to the amount of about 
$1,100, and had not the deaths of most of the Trustees been experi- 
enced, and other causes existed to retard the operation of the Society, 
a much larger sum would now have been at their disposal. 

As a stimulus to future exertions, and with a view to concentrate 
the efforts of the different congregations of our denomination, it has 
been agreed that a union of all the churches and congregations in this 
city should take place, with a view of embracing the valuable purposes 
of establishing a record of all the births and deaths in our several 
congregations, and an academy for the education of our children gen- 
erally, as well as the destitute orphans who will be educated and 
assisted according to the ability of the Society. The great utility of 
such a record in a Baptist Association must be obvious to every reflect- 
ing mind; not having any ceremony performed on our children in a 
state of infancy which is recorded as a public act— their births and 
deaths being recorded in a family Bible. And, in how many instances 
does it occur that this is either lost or destroyed ; or how easy a matter 
it would be for a person against whom this record would operate to 
effectually prevent its being brought forward, by secreting or destroy- 
ing it. Should we or our children wish to procure from public record 
our parentage or place of nativity for the purposes of obtaining a 
protection to go to a foreign country, or for substantiating titles to 
property, we have none to resort to to obtain the desired proof. And 
further, when we contemplate the many advantages, both temporal 
and spiritual, which, under the blessing of God, will arise from the 
establishment of a Baptist academy, that, from a small beginning, 
may rival any on our continent, we feel a pleasure the duty has 
devolved on us to assist in the establishment and support of so 
excellent an institution. 


Rev. David Benedict, D. D., writing of this period, says 
that^ " Philadelphia, both by the North and South, was 
regarded as the emporium of Baptist influence. Here the 
missionary spirit which had been kindled in different parts 
of the country burst forth into a flame, and here was or- 
ganized The General Missionary Convention of the 
Baptist Denomination in the United States of America for 
Foreign Missions." 

Early in 1812 the first American Missionaries sailed for 
their work in Asia. Revs. Adoniram Judson and Samuel 
Newell sailed from Salem on the 19th of February, and on 
the 24th, Revs. Messrs Hall and Nott, with their wives, and 
Rev. Luther Rice, sailed from Philadelphia, in the ship 
Harmony. These missionaries were Congregationalists, 
but on the voyage the views of Judson and his wife, and of 
Luther Rice, underwent a change on the subject of baptism, 
and they were baptized at Serampore, by Rev. Mr. Ward, of 
the English Baptist Mission. Judson remained, but Rice re- 
turned to stir up American Baptists to undertake the For- 
eign Mission work. 

On Thursday afternoon, October 5th, 18 13, the Phila- 
delphia Association had this subject before them, resulting 
in the inauguration of active measures for the benefit- of the 
heathen. It was determined to organize "The Philadel- 
phia Baptist Society for Foreign Missions," and ''brethren 
Holcombe, Staughton, Rogers, Samuel Jones, H. G. Jones, 
J. B. Montayne, J. Mathias, J. P. Peckworth, Joseph May- 
lin, W. Magee and G. Ingels " were appointed to devise a 
plan for the society, and to carry it into effect. 

Thus the missionary spirit began to be aroused, and 
with that also a desire for crystalization. Delegates from 
local missionaray societies and other religious bodies con- 

* Fifty Years Among the Baptists. Page 46. 



vened on the i8th of May, 1 8 14, in the meeting-house on 
Second Street, " to organize a plan for eliciting, combining, 
and directing the energies of the whole denomination in 
one sacred effort for sending the glad tidings of salvation to 
the heathen, and to nations destitute of pure gospel light." 
The site of this meeting was already a consecrated spot. 
Here the First Baptist Association of America had been 
organized. Here Hopewell Academy and Brown Univer- 
sity, our first educational institutions in this country, had 
been projected. Here the oldest Baptist Association in the 
country had " met at sunrise " when the news of the sur- 
render of the British arms at Yorktown, in 1782, was received. 
Fitting place for the assembling of the men who were to or- 
ganize for our Foreign Mission work. There were twenty- 
six clergymen and seven laymen from eleven different 
states and from the District of Columbia. Their names are 
on the records in the follow 






Thomas Baldwin, D. D 
Lucius BoUes, A. M., 
John Gano, A. M., 
John Williams, 

Thomas Hewitt, 

Edward Probyn, 

Nathaniel Smith, 
Burgiss Allison, D. D., 
Richard Proudfoot, 
Josiah Stratton, 
William Boswell, 
Henry Smalley, A. M., 

Matthew Randall, 

John Sisty, 

Stephen Ustick, 
William Rogers, D. D., 
Henry Holcombe, D. D 
Wilham Staughton, D. 
William White, A. M., 
John P. Peckworth, 
Horatio G. Jones, 
Silas Hough, 

ng order:- 




Rhode Island. 
New York. 

New Jersey. 




Rev. Joseph Matthias, 
Daniel Dodge, 
Lewis Richards, 
Thomas Brooke, 
Luther Rice, A. M., 
Robert B. Semple, 
Jacob Grigg, . 
James A. Ronaldson, 
Richard Furman, D. D., 

Hon. Matthias B. Talmadge, 

Rev. W. B. Johnson, 





District of Columbia. 

North Carolina. 
South Carolina. 


After much deliberation and prayer they organized the 
Triennial Convention. The object of it was for missionary 
purposes alone. Its meetings were held every three years, 
and from it has sprung our present American Baptist Mis- 
sionary Union, which, under God, is doing a grand work in 
the heathen world. Two months prior to the meeting of 
this body, on February 7th, our denomination met with a 
serious loss in the death of Rev. Dr. Samuel Jones, at 
Lower Dublin, aged 79 years. He was a man of fine phy- 
sical appearance, superior mental abihties, kind hearted, and 
had a deservedly high reputation as a preacher. He was an 
ornament to the denomination he served so faithfully, and 
to him we owe a debt of gratitude for the services he ren- 
dered with so much devotion and ability. 

The year 181 5 introduces us to the practical beginning 
of the Sunday-school work of the churches in this city ; 
that of the First Church leading the way. Shortly after- 
wards and during the same year, a Sunday-school was 
started in the Sansom Street Church ; meeting with favor, 
the next year one was organized in the Second Church, and 
in 1 817, the one at Roxborough. The following year, 
three additional schools were started by the Third, Block- 
ley and Fourth Churches. On account of the importance 
and results of this work a somewhat full account of the 
origin of the First Baptist School in this city will be of in- 


In 1 8 15, Mrs. Ann Rhees, a member of the First 
Church, became acquainted with a poor family in the vicin- 
ity of her home, consisting of a mother and three children, 
whose husband and father had, a short time before, enlisted 
in the state service, leaving them without support, except 
the scanty pittance of his half pay and what little the poor 
mother could earn from washing. The children were 
growing up in ignorance. The excellent common school 
system now enjoyed was not then in vogue. Under these 
circumstances it occurred to Mrs. Rhees that for the sake 
of these children and others, it would be well to open a 
Sunday-school in the church, to teach them how to read, so 
they could read the Bible, and for their religous instruction. 
She suggested her plan to two sisters of the church, who 
favored the movement and agreed to co-operate. These 
three, Mrs. Rhees, and the Misses Mary Hallman, and 
Emily Ramage, at once sought the advice of a few brethren. 
The first one, regarded as a wise and prudent counsellor, 
told them *' he did not like the idea of congregating 
children in a mass, and exhibiting them on the Lord's day 
to be gazed at as paupers." At this day such advice seems 
astounding. Caution and prudence, when balanced by a 
strong faith and an enterprising spirit are well, but when they 
exist alone, to follow them generally means inactivity, cove- 
tousness and spiritual, barrenness. By this cold and cut- 
ting remark of the venerable brother, the ardor of the 
women was somewhat dampened, but not enough to lead 
them to abandon the project. They then called on their 
Pastor, Rev. Dr. Holcombe. He listened to their statement, 
and then pleasantly replied, " Well my sisters, you can but 
try it, blossoms are sweet and beautiful even if they produce 
no fruit." Cheered by this remark, and hopeful that the 
blossom of their consecrated effort would develope into a 
blessed fruitage, they called on Deacon Joseph Keen. He 


entered into full sympathy with their work and heartily 
said " Yes, my sisters. I'll do all I can to help you." 
He even promised to come and open the school with 
prayer. I cannot refrain from speaking further of Brother 
Keen, whose earnest words of Christian cheer were in reality 
the means of inaugurating the First Baptist Sunday-school 
of Philadelphia. No one can peruse the Minutes during 
his long connection with the church without being im- 
pressed with the variety and intensity of his Christian ac- 
tivities, the kindliness of his heart, the loyalty of his faith, 
and the high esteem in which he was held by the entire 
church. He was a worthy sire of a posterity still nobly 
identified with our churches in this city. Thus cheered, 
these women began the work of collecting the children, and 
on a pleasant Sunday in October, with an additional co- 
laborer, Mrs. Sarah Ogden, held the first session of a Sun- 
day-school under Baptist auspices in Philadelphia. Deacon 
Keen was true to his promise, and opened the school with 
the first public prayer connected with the Baptist Sunday- 
school enterprise of this city. With twenty boys and girls, and 
four female teachers, encouraged by the presence of Deacon 
Keen, and a friend who accompanied him, commenced that 
movement which has been so signally blessed of God, until 
in this city, in sixty years afterwards, we have sixty-five 
Baptist Sunday-schools, numbering 1,645 officers and 
teachers, and 17,561 scholars; not to speak of the immense 
amount of good done here and abroad through the school 
started in the old meeting-house, on Second Street. To 
this school Mrs. Rhees from the first took her two sons, 
Morgan J. and John. The former became an honored and 
useful minister of Christ, and the latter a physician. The 
children met at first in the gallery of the church, and were 
divided into four classes, taught by the above teachers. 
Deacon Keen went every Sunday for a time, to open the 


school with prayer, or to see that it was done. In his historical 
address, at the fiftieth anniversary of this school. Judge T. 
Brantly Hanna, of this city, to whom I am indebted for the 
facts concerning the origin of this school says : " The en- 
terprise soon began to attract the attention of other mem- 
bers of the church. More teachers were enlisted, and the 
children of Mrs. Rhees, together with those of some cour- 
ageous members who did not fear their offspring would be 
considered paupers, having entered the school, induced 
other parents to imitate their example. The school was 
soon taken under the fostering care of the " Female Benev- 
olent Society," who, on the 15th of January, 18 16, applied 
to the church for the use of the room, in the two-story 
building lately finished, adjoining the meeting-house, for the 
purpose of establishing there the Sunday School. The ap- 
plication was granted and the school removed to their new 
home, there to meet, with a short interval elapsing, when 
they occupied the second story of one of the stores on Sec- 
ond street until May, 1856, when the church took -"posses- 
sion of the edifice at Broad and Arch streets. From the 
commencement, until about the close of 18 18, the school 
was conducted mainly by the ladies." 

In 1 8 19, the Sunday-school of the First Baptist Church 
having been established beyond the peradventure of an 
experiment, the friends of the measure organized " The 
Sunday-school Society of the First Baptist Church and 
Congregation of Philadelphia." Rules and regulations for 
the government of the society were adopted. These were 
at once printed. The officers elected were as follows : — 

Superintendent, James M. Bird; Assistant Superintendent, William 
Ford; Directress, Miss Susan Ingels; Assistant Directress, Miss Mary 
Hallman; Treasurer, Mrs. Margaret Garrett ; Secretary, Miss Jane 




IT is not our purpose to pursue the full and continuous 
history of the early Baptists of this city beyond the 
point reached in the previous chapters. Questions and 
difficulties are encountered during the next few years which 
can be written about by the historians a few years hence 
better than now. A few prominent incidents and persons 
deserving special mention will be noticed in this concluding 
part of our work. 

In December, 1815, Rev. Jacob Grigg became pastor at 
Lower Dublin, succeeding the lamented Dr. Samuel Jones, 
who for fifty-one years had been the revered shepherd of 
that flock. Mr. Grigg was a man of remarkable mental 
powers, and it is said that, while on the voyage from Eng- 
land to this country, he committed to memory the entire 
Bible. He remained at Pennypack until September, 18 17. 
The Blockley Church, after the removal of their first pastor 
in 1806, depended mainly upon supplies for the next ten 
years. The principal ones being John P. Peckworth, John 
Huson, Daniel James and Daniel Sweeney. In January, 
1 8 16, Charles Summers became the pastor, but he only 
remained till the following May. He was succeeded by the 


Rev. William E. Ashton, who remained until September, 
1822. Born in this city, May 18, 1793, Mr. Ashton was a 
man of fine culture, unceasing industry, and highly 
esteemed for his many excellent traits of character. 

In 1 8 16, after several ineffectual attempts to obtain a 
pastor, the Frankford Church succeeded in settling Rev. 
William Wilson. He only remained, however, until Novem- 
ber, 1817. He was succeeded the ensuing month by Rev. 
John C. Murphy, who remained until January, 1820. The 
growth of the church through these years was slow but 
constant. Previous to settling at Frankford, Mr. Murphy 
supplied, for nearly a year, the pulpit of the church in Rox- 
borough, during which time he was the means of establish- 
ing the Sunday-school in that place. 

Owing to the defection of William White, late pastor 
of the Second Baptist Church, it seemed difficult to obtain 
a successor in whom all could happily unite. Hence, it 
was thought best that a new church should be formed. In 
August, 1 8 17, Rev. James McLaughlin was elected pastor, 
and immediately afterwards seventy-six persons were dis- 
missed for the purpose of entering a new organization. 
On the loth of September, in the meeting-house of the 
Second Church, these were constituted as the " New Market 
Street Baptist Church, in the Northern Liberties of Phila- 
delphia." This is now known as the Fourth Church, 
located at Fifth and Buttonwood streets. The sermon was 
preached by Rev. John P. Peckworth from i Peter ii: 5. 
Rev. Dr. Staughton propounded the necessary interroga- 
tories then usual at such times, and Rev. Dr. Allison 
delivered the charge to the church. At the first meeting 
for business the Rev. Jacob Grigg was elected pastor. He 
resigned the charge of the church at Lower Dublin and 
entered at once upon the duties of his new field. Among 
the first acts of the church was the appointment of a com- 


mittee to select a suitable site for the erection of a house of 
worship. They recommended the purchase of the lot at 
the corner of '' Fifth Street, and Buttonwood Lane," but 
the location was not regarded as sufficiently eligible, being 
too far out of town. Accordingly a lot was secured on 
New Market street, above Willow. 

Just one month after the constitution of the church, 
October nth, the corner stone of their new meeting-house 
was laid. On this stone the name of the church and pastor 
were engraved. By the 27th of December the building was 
in readiness for public worship, and on the first day of Jan- 
uary the edifice, 60 feet by 54, was dedicated to the worship 
of God. Sermons on the occasion were preached by Revs. 
T. B. Montayne and Dr. Staughton. After a pastorate of 
a year and a half, which was attended with signal prosperity, 
Mr. Grigg resigned and went to Virginia. 

In February, 18 18, we meet with the beginning of 
Philadelphia Baptist journalism. "The Latter-Day Lumi- 
nary," a quarterly religious miscellany, was then begun. 
It was issued " by a committee of the Baptist Board of 
Foreign Missions." Rev. Luther Rice, the agent of said 
Board, appears to have been the mover and business 
manager of the enterprise, while Dr. Staughton, Correspond- 
ing Secretary of the Board, was the editor up to and 
including 182 1. By this time it had attained a circulation 
of about 3,000 copies, when it was removed to Washington, 
where it was subsequently published until the close of 1 824, 
when it was discontinued. It is a work of much vlaue, as 
it contains information relating to the current history of the 
denomination nowhere else to be found. 

In 18 18 the Board of the Triennial Convention organized 
in this city an institution for furnishing theological instruc- 
tion to young men intending to enter the Christian ministry. 
Dr. Staughton was its President, and Professor Irah Chase 


was associated with him in the work. This was, in reality, 
the first theological seminary inaugurated by the denomi- 
nation in this country. It was situated at the northwest 
corner of Eighth and Sansom streets, Philadelphia. A 
history of this institution, by Professor Chase, was published 
in the " American Baptist Memorial," April 15th, 1842. 
From that article the following will be of interest : — 

The first theological class consisted of William E. Ashton, Peter 
Chase, Isaac Merrimam, Alvah Sabin, and Adam Wilson. Their 
course was terminated by a public examination, and other appropriate 
exercises, at the time of the annual meeting of the Board, April 25, 
1 82 1. Mr, Wilson had occasion to repair to a field of labor at a 
somewhat earlier day. The order of exercises included the following 
essays : — 

1. On some of the causes which prevented a complete Refor- 
mation in the time of Luther; — by Mr. Ashton. 

2. Translation of the forty-ninth Psalm, with critical remarks ; — 
by Mr. Chase. 

3. On the proper mode of interpreting parables ; — by Mr. Mer- 

4. Interpretation of i Cor. 10 : 10 ; — by Mr. Sabin. 

5. On the phrase, Son of God ; — by Mr. Merrimam. 

6. On the importance of applying to theology the Baconian prin- 
ciples of Philosophizing ; — by Mr. Chase. 

7. On the connection between a preacher's general character and 
the efficacy of his public instru(.tions ; — by Mr. Ashton. 

'' The impressions made on this occasion," says an account pub- 
lished at the time, " were, in no ordinary degree, gratifying and en- 
couraging to the heart that prays, f/iy ki7igdo7n cojfie. The whole be- 
came the more interesting from the consideration that theyfr^/ class 
from the institution, was then seen going forth in the name of the 

The second theological class consisted of Allen Brown, Spencer 
Clack, Harned, John C. Harrison, Henry Keeling, Samuel W. 
Lynd, Samuel Wait, and David M. Woodson. Their course was 
brought to a close with the close of the summer term, on Wednesday, 
the 25th of July, 182 1. The forenoon was occupied in a public ex- 
amination. In the afternoon, a meeting was held in the Sansom 
Street meeting-house, when, after prayer by the Rev. Mr. Rice, es- 
says were read to an attentive assembly. 

I. On the moral tendency of the distinguishing doctrines of the 
gospel ; — by Mr. Harrison. 


2. On the choice of texts for sermons ; — by Mr. Harned. 

3. On the proper treatment of the difficulties which occur in 
Revelation ; — by Mr. Keeling. 

4. On the use which a preacher should make of a knowledge of 
the original languages and learned criticisms ; — by Mr. Wait. 

5. On the character and offices of the Holy Ghost; — by Mr. 

6. On the objection that Herod's slaying the children at Bethle- 
hem, as stated in Matt. 2: 16, is not mentioned by Josephus ; — by 
Mr. Brown. 

7. On preaching Christ crucified ; — by Mr. Lynd. 

The Rev. Dr. Staughton then delivered a charge to the class, and 
closed the services by prayer and a benediction. 

So much success attended this theological school that 
the expediency of attempting the organization of a college 
at some central point, from which a beneficial influence 
might go forth to every part of the land, was duly con- 
sidered. The project met with favor, and Washington, D. C, 
was determined upon as the most eligible place. In 1819 
property was purchased there for Columbian College. In 
February, 182 1, a charter was procured from Congress, and 
the Institution at Philadelphia was removed to Washington, 
in the autumn of that year, to form the Theological Depart- 
ment of the College, with Professor Chase and eight 
students to begin with. The College, itself, with Dr. Staugh- 
ton as its President, was opened in 1822. Thus this Col- 
lege, now called Columbian University, had its beginning 
in Philadelphia, the goodly city where the first Association 
of Baptist Churches was formed; where the first Latin school 
among the Baptists of America was inaugurated ; where 
Brown University, our oldest institution of learning, was 
projected ; where the Missionary Union for religious work 
among the heathen was organized, and where the first The- 
ological seminary in America was established. 

It would be very agreeable to take up the names of 
many noble men of our city who subsequently carried 
forward most nobly the work previously begun ; ministers 





and laymen who, having served well in the Lord's vineyard, 
now rest from their labors. This was not comprehended 
in the object of our work. A few honored names of great 
prominence deserve notice. 

Rev. Joseph H. Kennard, D. D., was a man whose 
memory is still fragrant in all this region. He was the 
founder of the Baptist Ministerial Conference of this city, 
and was identified with other denominational agencies in 
such a way as to infuse into them his noble spirit and mis- 
sionary zeal. On October i, 1823, he enterered upon the 
pastorate of the Blockley Church, and from that time until 
his death triumphant, which occurred June 24, 1866, he was 
present at every session of the Philadelphia Association, 
and at every session took some prominent part. The Tenth 
Baptist Church, which he was the means of organizing, and 
which he served as pastor for nearly thirty years, is, indeed, 
a monument to his Christian integrity and hearty devotion 
to the kingdom of Jesus. 

Then, too, there was Daniel Dodge, of the Second 
Church, that tower of strength in our Baptist Zion ; Dr. 
William J. Brantley, the elder, of the First Church, that 
courteous, devoted and able minister of the New Testament ; 
Rufus Babcock, D. D., of the Spruce Street Baptist Church, 
whose christly, evangelical spirit has been helpful to so 
many in their heavenward pathway ; Konrad A. Fleischman, 
of the First German Church, a perfect John the Baptist in 
rugged energy and earnest interest for the salvation of his 
countrymen ; George B. Ide, D. D., that polished preacher 
and faithful pastor, under whose leadership the First Church 
removed from Second street to Broad and Arch ; and a large 
number whose names are embalmed in the hearts of a grate- 
ful people. Among the laymen the names of James M. 
Linnard, Dr. Wilson Jewel, Joseph Taylor, David Jayne, 
Franklin Lee, W. H. Richards, T. P. Sherborne, and a host 


of Other Christian men might be mentioned. Their names 
are still revered in many households throughout this city. 
May their examples inspire the present membership of our 
churches to even greater undertakings in consecration to 
the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. 


Adams, John, against the Baptists, 

African Church, proposed, 157 ; First 

constituted, 176. 
Ainger, Thomas, 146; preaches at 

Chestnut Hill, 148; death of, 148. 
Allison, Burgis, at Pennypack, 107; 

patriotism of, 120. 
Andrews, Jedediah, the Preseyterian 

pastor, 32. 
Ashton, William E., 164, 190. 
Association, Philadelphia, organized, 

44 ; meets twice a year, 107 ; 

meets in New York, 97 ; no 

meeting of, 121. 


Babcock, Rulus, 195. 

Backus, Isaac, in Philadelphia, 108, 

Baptism, first record of, 23; a pre- 
rogative of the ministry, 90; pre; 
cedes the Lord's Supper, 139- 
on a week-day, 158 ; validity of, 

Baptist history, 30, 31. 

Baptist hymn book, 142. 

Baptisterion, 133. 

Baptists, origin of, 18; and the Ro- 
manists, 63; and religious liberty, 
64 ; and the American Revolu- 
tion, 118. 

Barbadoes lot, 31; storehouse, 32. 

Benedict, David, quotations from, 
19. 25, 183. 

Bible, circulation of, 137. 

Blockley church, constituted, 161 ; 
constituent members, 162 ; meet- 
ing-house, erected, 162 ; pastors 
of, 189. 

Brandywine Church organized, 54. 
Brantley, William T., 23, 195. 
Brewhouse, worship in, 34. 
Brown University, 85, 96 ; aided, 137, 
Bucks County, line of fixed, 19. 
Burrows, John, 48, 49. 

Calendar, change of, 24. 

Carpenter's Hall, 108. 

Catechetical instruction, 66. 

Catechism published, 29. 

Century Sermon, 44; Minutes, 45; 
first concluded, 129. 

Chains across the streets, 154. 

Challis, J. M., 24. 

Chase, Irah, 192. 1 

Church Discipline, treatise on, 68. | 

Church, number needed to constitute 
a, 166. 

Churches, names of dropped, 154 ; 
lighted by candles, 166 ; heated 
by wood stoves, 166 ; chrono- 
logical list of, 171. 

Chestnut Hil, first sermon at, 148. 

Christ Church, 38. 

Circular Letter, the first, 60. I 

City pastors, residing in the country, 

Clayton, Thomas, proposition of, 35. 

Cohansey Church, 25. 

Cold Spring, 19; preaching at, 28; 

Church at 18. 

Church disbanded, 42. 

Collections to aid Missions, 155. 

Colonies, on the side of, 120. 

Columbian University, 192, 

Commandment, the Fourth in force, 

Committee on Grievances, no. 
Communion Service of First Church , 




Conference meetings, 25. 
Confession of faith, published, 29; 

of Philadelphia Association, 67. 
Continental Congress, 108 ; address 

to, 110-114. 
Convention, Triennial 1S4. 
Correspondence with Associations, 

Crozer, John P., 173. 


Davis, David, arrives, 47. 

Davis, John, ordained, 75 ; pioneer 
in Maryland, 75. 

Davis, William, a troubler, 28 ; dis- 
abled, 28. 

Deacons, ordinations of, 91. 

Decision, unanimity in, 58. 

Discipline, treatise on, 68 ; strict, 176. 

Division, a painful, 48. 

Doctor of Divinity, the first Baptist, 

Doctrinal Sermon, 78. 

Dodge, Daniel, 194. 

Drunkenness, discipline for, 83. 

Dungan, Thomas, at Cold Spring, 
18 ; death of, 25 ; an ancient 
disciple, 26 ; posterity of, 26. 

Eaglesfield, George, 58. 

Eatons, arrival of, 21. 

Eaton, George, 71 ; called to preach, 
75, 88 ; preaches at Roxborough, 
88 ; death of, 88. 

Eaton, Isaac, 71, 73 ; last sermon 
of, 105. 

Eaton, Joseph, ordained, 59; heter- 
odox, 69 ; death of, 73. 

Edwards, Morgan, quotations ^rom, 
18, 22, 24, i>6, 27,31, 39, 41, 45, 
65; the historian, 30; invited 
from England, 79; arrives, 82 ; 
becomes an A. M., 91 ; obliga- 
tion of Brown University to, 96; 
resigns, 103 ; an evangelist, 104; 
removes to Newark, 109 ; death 
of, 151. 

Emigrant church, 40. 

Emporium of Baptist influence, 183. 
Episcopalians, reply to, 35, 38 ; wor- 
ship in Keithian house, 64, 65. 

Fasting and prayer, 117, 118. 

Feeble churches fostered, 74. 

First Baptist Church, constituted, 31 ; 
in danger of losing property, 64 ; 
distinctly organized, 69 ; con- 
stituent members, 70; Com- 
munion Service of, 79 ; new 
meeting-house of, 86 ; unincor- 
porated, 142 ; moves for a mis- 
sionary society, 156. 

First Baptist meeting-house built, 63. 

First Baptist Sunday-school, 186-188. 

Fleischman, KonradA., 195. 

Fleeson, Thomas, at Roxborough, 

Ford, Phillip, 18. 
Frankford Church, constituted, 169 ; 

pioneer laborers of, 170 ; pastors 

of, 190. 
Funerals in military or Masonic 

order, 176. 

Gano, John, in Philadelphia, 80 \ 
called to First Church, 125, 127. 

Gilbert Curtis, 147. 

Gill, John, D. D., 82. 

Government, frame of, 17. 

Graveyard, Fifth street, 50. 

Griffith, Benjamin, arrives, 47; or- 
dained, 58 ; collects records of 
churches, 72 ; death of, 96. 

Grigg, Jacob, 189. 


Hart. Oliver, 71. 

Harvard College, donations to, 56. 
Holcombe, Henry, 180. 
Holy Spirit poured out, 158. 
Hollis, Thomas, donations of, 56. 
Holme, John, purchases land, 18 ; 
a magistrate, 27; prominent, 31. 
Holme, J.Stanford, 18. 
Holmesburgh Church, 18. 



Honeywell, John, will of, 138 ; school 

fund, 138. 
Hopewell Academy, 76, 80. 
Hymn Book, Baptist, 142. 


Ide, George B., 195. 
Independence Hall, 119. 
Indian Deed, 22. 


Jayne, David, 192. 

Jenkins, Nathaniel, 73. 

Jewel, Wilson, 195. 

Jones, David, 128. 

Jones, David, Jr., 180. 

Jones, Horatio Gates, 165. 

Jones, Horatio Gates, Jr., quotations 
from, 30, 40, 46, 68. 

Jones, Jenkins, arrives, 47 ; at Pen- 
nypack, 59 ; in Philadelphia, 69; 
death of, 78 ; legacy of, 78. 

Jones, Samuel, ordained, 43 ; death 
of. 55- 

Jones, Samuel, D. D., portrait of, 
frontispiece; book dedicated to, 
39; arrives, 65 ; in Philadelphia, 
87 ; graduates, 88 ; license of, 
89 ; ordination of, 89 ; settled 
at Pennypack, 90 ; instructs in 
theology, 107 ; first President of 
Trustees, 154 ; a noble repre- 
tative, 164 , death of, 184. 


Keach, Benjamin, 22. 

Keach, Elias, arrives, 22 ; imposition 
of, 23 ; baptism and ordination 
of, 23 ; chiefapostle, 25 ; resigns, 
25 ; returns to England, 29. 

Keen, Joseph, 150, 187. 

Keith, George, 27. 

Keithians, 27,28; articles offaith of 27; 
friendly to Baptists, 42; meeting- 
house of, 43. 

Keithian Quakers, 29. 

Kennard, Joseph H., 194. 

Killingsworth, Thomas, 28 ; death 
of, 46. 

King, John, 182. 

Kinnersley, William, assistant min- 
ister, 59 ; death of, 65. 

Kinnersley, Ebenezer, 65 ; ordained; 
68 ; opposed to Whitefield, 68 ; 
a scientist, 68 ; Professor of 
Rhetoric, 75 ; resigns, 106; death 
of, 106 ; memorial window to, 

Knollys, Hanserd, 31. 

Latter Day Luminary, 191. 
Laying on of hands, 25, 40, 41, 60, 

139. 175- 

Lee, Franklin, 195. 

Letters of dismission, 59, 60 ; and 
recommendation, 151. 

Letters of notification, 150. 

Letters, blanks of, 166 ; the first from 
churches, 58. 

Levering, Abraham, 72. 

Levering, William, 72. 

Levering, John, baptized. 

Linnard, James M., 195. 

London, sent to for a minister, 78 ; 
letter from Association to, 84. 

Lord's day. observance of, 57. 

Lord's Supper, and scattered mem- 
bers, 140 ; preceded by bap- 
tism, 139. 

Lower Dublin Church, constituted, 
23, 24; first meeting-house at, 44; 
new meeting-house at, 10 1 ; pre- 
sent meeting-house, 163; patriot- 
ism of, 120 ; trouble concerning 
property ol, 72. 


Malcom, Howard, birth of, 155. 

Manning, James, in Philadelphia, 
no, 121-124 ; called to First 
Church, 135 ; interest in Phila- 
delphia Association, 140 ; first 
Baptist Doctor of Divinity, 140; 
death of, 148, 149. 

Marriages, by dissenting ministers, 
79 ; between believers and un- 
believers, 57 ; legal, 168. 

Mathias, Joseph, 53. 



McLaughlin, James, 189. 

Membership essential to official 
standing, 57. 

Menno, Simon, a Baptist, 29. 

Mennonites settle in Germantown, 29. 

Messengers, names of first given, 61. 

Minutes, wanting, 49; of Associa- 
tion first printed, 97. 

Missionary Society, First Church 
moves for a, 156. 

Missions Foreign, growing interest in, 
157 ; collection for, 166, 177, 
181, 184 ; Christian, 167. 

Missionaries, sail for India, 183. 

Moderator, name first given, 73 ; a 
member of an associated church, 

Montgomery County, when formed, 

SI. 140. 

Montgomery Church, organization 
of, 51 ; services at, 52 ; meeting- 
house of, 52. 

Morgan, Evan, ordained, 43 ; death 
of, 47. 

Morgan, Abel, arrives, 48 ; settled at 
Pennypack,48; Concordance and 
Confession of faith by, 55 ; death 

of. 55. 
Murphy, J. R,, quotation from, 24. 
Murphy, J. C, at Frankford, 189. 


New Britain Church organized, 75. 

New Market Street Church, consti- 
tuted, 190 ; build a meeting- 
house, 191. 

Noble, Abel, the First Seventh-day 
Baptist, 39. 

Northern Liberties, Church organ- 
ized, 98 ; received into the Asso- 
ciation, 104 ; a lot in, 155. 


Ordination, certificate of, 76. 

Ordination of deacons, 91. 

Organ, sound of in Baptist worship, 

Orphan Society, 182. 
Oxford Church property, 40. 

Painful division, 48. 
Parsonage, free, 176. 
Patriotism of Lower Dublin Church, 

Peckworth, John P., 189. 
Penn, William, 17, 19, 20; death 

of. 54. 
Penn, Admiral, a Baptist, 19. 
Pennypack, arrival of the first Bap- 
tists at, 21; meaningof word, 22. 
Persecutions in Wales, 20, 21 ; in 

New England, 98-101, 107. 
Philadelphia founded, 17. 
Philadelphia Association, organized, 

44; meets with closed doors, 58; 

chartered, 154; centennial of, 170^ 
Piscataway Church, 25. 
Pitman, John, 120. 
Preachers, supply of, 43. 
Precentor, singing led by, 162 . 
Prerogative of the ministry, 181. 
Presbyterians, and Baptists together, 

32 ; separate, 34. 
Presbyterians, letter to, 33. 
Princeton student, 181. 
Property, danger of losing, 64, 65, 72. 


Quakers, division among, 27. 


Records, failure to keep Association, 
66 ; First Church meagre, 78 ; 
of Association commenced, 72. 

Religious liberty, in Philadelphia, 
17 ; and the Baptists, 27, 64. 

Revolution, conclusion of, 134. 

Rogers, William, ordained, 105 ; 
chaplain, 120; Professor of Rhet- 
oric, 143. 

Roxborough, first preaching at, 72; 
first settlers, 144 ; Church consti- 
tuted, 144; old meeting-house 
at, 145 ; constituent members, 

Ruling Elders, 50, 94. 

Rutter, John, pastor at Blockley, 162; 
excluded, 167. 

Rush, Dr. Benjamin, 20. 



Second Baptist Church, in Church 
alley, 153. 

Second Church, constituted, 158-160; 
worship in a lodge room, 160; 
meeting-house dedicated, 161; 
incorporated, 173. 

Selby, Thomas, a disturber, 48 ; ex- 
cluded, 49. 

Seventh-day Baptists, 39, 50, 51. 

Sisters permitted to vote, 93. 

Slavery, abolition of, 146. 

Sparks, Richard, bequest of, 50. 

Stage to New York, 142. 

Statistics of churches first given, 85. 

Staughton, William, settles in Phila- 
delphia, 164 ; prosperous, 165 ; 
indefatigable, 165 ; theologfcal 
school of, 192. 

Stillman, Samuel, born, 65 ; preaches 
in Philadelphia, 81 ; called to 
First Church, 103. 

Sunrise, Association met at, 134. 

Temperance, 142. 

Theatres, 150. 

Third Church constituted, 175. 

Thomas, William, 53. 

Tunes authorized to be sung, I43. 

Tullytown Christian Church, 23. 


Union M. E. Church, 90. 
Ustick, Thomas, 135-137 

death of. 

Vanhorn, P. P., ordained, 71 ; 

preaches at Roxborough, 72; 

resigns, 86. 
Vaus, Samuel, an impostor, 21, 22. 


Wales, and Pennsylvania Baptists, 
18 ; persecutions in, 20, 21 ; Bap- 
tist Association in, 21. 

Walter, Joseph S., 158. 

Warren Association, organized, 94; 
letter to, 95. 

Washington, George, death of, 154. 

Watts, John, pastor at Lower Dub- 
lin, 26 ; an author, 29 ; preaches 
in Philadelphia, 32 ; death of, 42. 

Watts, Stephen, 91. 

Weed, Dr. G,, anxious to preach, 83. 

Welsh Tract Church, 40. 

Whitefield, George, arrives, 65 ; visits 
Jenkin Jones, 66; his church, 90. 

White, William, ordained, 152 ; in 
Philadelphia, 162. 

Williams, Roger, 18, 19. 

Winchester, Elhanan, 128; apostacy 
of, 130-133, 135. 

Windows, boards in, 125. 

Wood, Joseph, ordained, \6; death 
of, 72. 

Worship, orderly, 57. 

Yellow fever, 152, 153. 



Mr, ±jditor—\n reply to the inquiry of your 
correspondent J. P. E. in his article on " Old 
Tomb Stones'" published a few weeks since in 
your paper, but which has just met my eye, 1 
take much pleasure in communicating to you 
the mformation desired in reference to The exis- 
tence of any Seventh Day Baptist Society at so 
early a date. There were as many as four 
Seventh Day Baptist churches, in the Province 
of Pennsylvania, at that period. They descend- 
ed from the Kelthian Baptists, and separated 
from them on embracing the Seventh day as 
the Sabbath of the Lord. 

You, doubtless, are aware, that soon after 
the settlement of Pennsylvania a difference 
arose among the society of Friends touching 
'\TM sufficiency of what every man naturally 
has icithin himself for the purpose of his own 
salvatio?i." Some denied that sufficiency, and 
consequen.Iy magnified the Word, Christ, above 
Barclay's measure. A division took place in 
1691, and this party was designated by the 
name of Keithia?is or Keithian Quakers, after 
their leader George Keith; and afterwards, on 
their embracing ''water baptism'' thev were im- 
mersed, and styled Keithian Baptists. Among 
these Keithian Baptists I find the identical name 
of Rees Price, as having been baptized by 
Ihomas Martin, at Upper Providence, Chester 
county, about the year 1697. In the year 1700 
a difference arose in this church on the subject 
ot the Sabbath, which broke up the society at 
that place. A society of these Baptists observ- 
ing the seventh day as the day oC holy rest was i 
formed at Pennepek, Philadelphia county, and 
in the year 1702, they built a meeting house, in 
Oxford township, on a lot of ground given to 
them by Thomas Graves; but neglecting to 
take a conveyance for it in due time, the Epis- 
copalians got both the lot and house. On this 
-§?&MlVtf«tmiy.^t>inis the Oxford Church, a few 




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